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The L Ministry of Healing 

Miracles of Cure in All Ages 



A. J. Gordon 


New York 

Copyright by Howakd Ganmbt*. 



Have there been any miracles since theaposlles? — Tradi- 
tional answer— Unreasonable dread of miracles — 
Healing and regeneration — Demand of the age respect- 
ing the supernatural — Growing sway of naturalism — 
How it can be resisted. ... ... ... I 


Christ bearing our sicknesses — Forgiveness and healing — 
Signs promised in the great commission —Comments 
of Bullinger and Bengel on the same — Promise in 
Tames — The threefold test of perpetuity — Lange on 
anointing. ... .. ... ... 16 


Archbishop Tillotson. — " Very agreeable to reason " — The 
cessation theory against analogy — Miracles not abnor- 
mal — Considered as signs — The first fruits of re- 
demption — Miracles of healing distinguished from 
other miracles — Views of Ellicott and Godet as to 
their continuance. ... ... "39 


Dr. Gerhard Uhlhorn's verdict on the teaching of the 
Fathers — Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Terullian, Origen, 
Clement — Decline of apostolic miracles — The age of 
Constantine — Revival of miracles with revival of 
faith — Doctrine of the Waldenses on miraculous 
healing— The Moravians hold and practice it — The 
Huguenots —Wonderful records among the Cove- 


nanters — Friends, Baptists and Methodists all bear 
witness — Joseph Benson's story. ... ... 58 


Augustine — His view defined by Trench — He tells the 
story of a miracle of healing — Luther's strong faith — 
He raises Melancthon from mortal sickness — Mycon- 
ius called back from the gates of death — Baxter's 
strong testimony and personal experience — Bengel 
pronounces for modern miracles — Edward Irving's 
views — Thomas Erskine's doctrine and proof — Bush- 
nell, " miracles and supernatural gifts not discontin- 
ued '' — Other witnesses. ... ... ... 87 


Importance of evidence from this field — Argument of Prof. 
Christlieb — His strong endorsement of missionary 
miracles — Instances cited by him — Testimony of 
Grotius— Witness of missionaries themselves — Preach- 
ing the gospel with signs following — A commenta- 
tor's prayer. ... ... ... ... 116 


False miracles a witness to the true. — Antichrist and his lying 
wonders — Spiritualism and Necromancy— The spu- 
rious should not prejudice us against the genuine — 
Christlieb on miracles in the last days — Erskine on 
Satan's use of the church's denial — Caution and 
watchfulness required. ... ... ... 131 


Some who have practiced the ministry of healing — Dorothea 
Trudel — Her remarkable consecration, and power in 
prayer— Her persecutions and triumphs — Home for 
healing at Manncdorf — Samuel Zellcr her successor— 


Pastor Blumhardt — His devoted life— Striking In- 
stance of cure and its effect — Pastor Stockmayer — 
His exposition of the doctrine of sickness and heal- 
ing — Pastor Rein — His saintly character and apos- 
tolic works — Lord Radstock's views — Dr. Cullis and 
his work of faith in Boston. ... ... ... 144 


J One thing I know"— Value of experience — Story of Miss 
Fancourt's healing — Her venerable father's confirma- 
tion — Evil entreated — A cripple healed — Comment 
of Rev. Morgan Edwards — The Doctor's story— 
Broken arm restored — Miss Jennie Smith — The all 
night prayer meeting — The victory of faith — Reflec- 
tions. ... ... ... ... 174 


Jellet on miracles — False theory of sickness — Healing rare 
because faith is rare — God's sovereignty not to be 
contravened — Value of testimony cited — Danger of 
denying the supernatural — Unbelief of our time- 
Effect of miracles of healing on their subjects. ... 195 


Too much not to be demanded of the church of to-day— 
Heresy to be avoided — Dangers of fanaticism — 
Need of study and quietness — Prof. Godet — The 
true secret of knowledge — A memorable instance of 
national prayer — Caution against dogmatism and 
pride. ... ... ... ... 209 


The prayer of faith a great attainment — Coleridge's testi- 
mony — How reached — Three conditions — Commun- 
ion, obedience, submission — Thy will be done — 
Words to the sick. ... ... ... 234 



Have there been any miracles since the days of 
the apostles? To this question the common an- 
swer has been, in our times at least, a decided no. 
A call recently put forth in one of our religious jour- 
nals, asking the opinion of ministers, teachers and 
theological professors on this point was very largely 
answered ; and the respondents were well nigh 
unanimous in the opinion that the age of miracles 
passed away with the apostolic period. The state- 
ment contained in several of these replies gave 
evidence indeed that the question had never been 
deeply investigated by the witnesses. In some 
instances there was a perhaps unintentional 
evading of the issue by the question " What is a 
miracle? - But there were only one or two replies 
which gave countenance to the view, that miracles 
are possible in all ages and have appeared more or 


less numerously in every period of the Church 5 c 
history. If then the little book which we now 
send forth shall win any assent for its views, it will 
not do so in all probability because its sentiments 
accord with the opinion of the majority of the 
theologians of the day. 

It is therefore no enviable task which we have 
undertaken. The demand of the times is rather in 
the contrary direction from that in which our con- 
viction carries us. "The strongest requirement 
now pressing on the Church is for an adaptation 
of Christianity to the age," — so we read not long 
since. How presumptuous it will look in the face 
of such an utterance for one to set his face squarely 
in the opposite direction, and insist that the great 
est present demand is for the adaptation of the 
age to Christianity. And not that exactly; for 
" this present evil age " can never be made to har- 
monize with a religion that is entirely heavenly in 
its origin, in its course and in its consummation. 
But wc trust it will not be presumption to say that 
the Church in every direction needs to be re-shaped 
to the apostolic model and re-invested with her 
apostolic powers. For is it not apparent that be- 
tween the indignant clamor of skeptics against 


primitive miracles, and the stern frowning of theolo- 
gians upon any alleged modern miracles, the Lord's 
people are in danger of being frightened out of 
their faith in the supernatural ? We speak of what 
we have often noticed. A simple hearted believer 
comes into the assembly of the Church and details 
some remarkable answer to prayer — prayer for 
healing or prayer for deliverance, in response to 
which he alleges that God has wrought marvel- 
lously ; and then we notice the slowness and shy- 
ness with which Christians turn their ears to the 
story, and the glances of embarrassment amount- 
ing almost to shamefacedness which they cast 
towards the minister, as though appealing for res- 
cue from the perilous neighborhood of fanaticism 
to which they have been drawn. This we have 
often observed, and on it we have pondered, and 
from it we have raised the question again and again, 
whether the Church has not drifted into an un- 
seemly cautiousness concerning the miraculous. 
As a religion which is ritual is sure to put 
vestments on her ministers sooner or later, so a 
religion which is rational rather than spiritual, 
will be certain to put vestments on the Lord's prov- 
idences, insisting on their being draped in the ha- 


biliments of decent cause and effect, and attired in 
the surplice of natural law and order, lest God 
should " make bare his holy arm in the eyes of all 
the nations." "The world dislikes the recurrence 
of miracles." Yes, without question. For the 
world which " by wisdom knew not God " is very 
jealous of everything which it cannot explain or 
reproduce. "A miracle is something very embar- 
rassing to mock professors." Doubtless; for it 
brings such, uncomfortably near to God. Accus- 
tomed only to such manifestations of the Infinite 
as have been softened and assuaged by passing 
through the medium of the natural, they cannot 
bear this close proximity to the Cause of causes. 
" He that is near to me is near to the fire ; " is one 
of the sayings which apocrypha puts into the mouth 
of Christ. How shall they whose feet have never 
put off their shoes of rationalism and worldliness 
come near the burning bush, and into open vision 
of the "I am." 

But it is not worldlings and false professors alone 
that dislike miracles. Real.true hearted and sincere 
disciples are afraid of them and inclined to push 
away with quick impatience, any mention of their 
possible occurrence in our time. In most cases 


probably this aversion comes from a wholesome 
fear of fanaticism. 

On which point permit us to observe : — that 
fanaticism is in most instances simply the eccentric 
action of doctrines that have been loosened from 
their connection with the Christian system. Every 
truth needs the steadiness and equipoise which 
come from its being bound into harmony with all 
other truths. If the Church by her neglect or de- 
nial of any real doctrine of the faith thrusts that 
doctrine out into isolation and contempt, thus com- 
pelling it to become the property of some special 
sect she need not be surprised if it loses its bal- 
ance. She has deprived it of the conserving influ- 
ence which comes from contact and communion with 
other and central doctrines and so doomed it inevi- 
tably to irregular manifestations. If the whole body 
of Christians had been faithful to such truths as 
that of the second coming of Christ, and scriptu- 
ral holiness, for example, we probably should never 
have heard of the fanaticism of adventism and per- 
fectionism. Let a fragment be thrown off from 
the most orderly planet and it will whirl and rush 
through space till it is heated hot by its own mo- 
mentum. It is nothing against a doctrine in our 


minds therefore that it has engendered fanaticism. 
One who studies the history of important religious 
revivals indeed must take quite an opposite view, 
and suspect that it is a proof of the vitality of the 
truth around which it has gathered. 

Who that is acquainted with the religious move- 
ments led by Luther and Wesley and with the end- 
less extravagances that followed in their wake does 
not see that in these instances the stir produced 
came from the writhing of wounded error rather 
than from the birth of falsehood, from the contor- 
tions of the strangled serpents around the cradle of 
a new Hercules come for reformation. So let us 
be less disturbed by the unaccustomed stir of truth 
than by the propriety of dead and decent error. 

But we are offering no apology for fanaticism and 
providing no place for it in connection with the doc- 
trine which we are defending. It need have no 
place. We believe in regeneration, the work in 
which God comes into immediate contact with the 
soul for its renewal That is no less a miracle than 
healing in which God comes into immediate con- 
tact with the body for its recovery. In the one 
case there is a direct communication of the divine 
life to the spirit, which Neander calls " the stand- 


ing miracle of the ages ; " in the other there is a 
direct communication of the divine health to the 
body which in the beginning was called " a miracle 
of healing." An able writer has said, we believe 
with exact truth : " You ask God to pet form as real 
a miracle when you ask him to cure your soul of sin 
as you do when you ask him to cure your body of a 
fever."* Yet who of us thinks of encouraging 
fanaticism by preaching and praying for man's 
regeneration ? Enthusiasm has often kindled about 
this truth indeed, when it has had to be revived 
after long neglect and denial, but not when it has 
been held in orderly, and recognized relation to 
other cardinal doctrines. 

Very beautifully did one say of the sister of the 
poet Wordsworth, that "it was she -who couched his 
eye to the beauties of nature." More than any- 
thing else is it needed to-day that some one 
couch the eyes of Christians to the realities of the 
supernatural. Holden of unbelief, filmed with sus- 
picion and distrust, how many of the Lord's truest 
servants would be unable to discern his hand 
if he were to put it forth in miracles. It is not 
easy for those whose daily bread has always been 

* Jellett: Efficacy of Prayer; Donnellan Lectures, 1877, p. 43. 


forthcoming, with no occasion for the raven's min- 
istration to believe in miraculous feeding. The 
eyes that " stand out with fatness " would be the 
last ones to catch sight of the angels if they should 
chance to be sent with bread to some starving dis- 
ciple. To whom saith the Lord "anoint thine 
eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see ? " Is it 
not to those that say " I am rich and increased in 
goods and in need of nothing ? " If then we protest 
that we do not see what others claim to have wit- 
nessed of the Lord's out-stretched hand, it may be 
because of a Laodicean self-satisfaction into which 
we have fallen. When shall we learn that "the 
secret of the Lord is with them that fear him " 
most deeply, and not of necessity with those who 
have studied the doctrines most deeply. And so if 
the eyes long unused to any sight of the Lord's 
wonder-working are to be couched to the realities 
of the supernatural, it may be some very humble 
agent that shall perform the work, some saintly 
Dorothea of Mannedorf at whose feet theologians 
sit to learn things which their utmost wisdom had 
failed to grasp, or some Catharine of Siena who 
speaks to learned ecclesiastics with such depth of 
insight that they exclaim with astonishment " never 


man spoke like this woman." In other words let 
us not be too reluctant to admit that some of God's 
children in sore poverty and trial and distress, and 
with the keener faith which such conditions have 
developed may have had dealings with God of which 
we know nothing. At all events be not angry, Oh 
ye wise and prudent, at those Christians of simple 
faith, who believe with strong confidence that they 
have had the Saviour's healing touch laid upon 

Nor should we unwittingly limit the Lord by our 
too confident theories about the cessation of mira- 
cles. The rationalist jealous of any suggestion 
that God in these days may cross the boundary 
line that divides the natural from the supernatural 
cries out against "the dogma of divine interfer- 
ence " as he names it. The traditionalist viewing 
with equal jealousy any notion that the Lord may 
pass the line that separates the apostolic from the 
post-apostolic age, and still act in his office of mira- 
cle working sounds the cry of fanaticism. But 
what if some meantime should begin to talk about 
" the crown rights of Immanuel " as the old Cove- 
nanters did, insisting on his prerogative to work 
what he will, and when he will, and how he will, 


without our compelling it to be said of us and o{ 
our century that " he could not do many mighty 
works among them because of their unbelief?" Cer- 
tainly the time has come for us to make use of all 
the divine assistance that is within our reach. If 
there are any residuary legacies of power and priv- 
ilege accruing to us since the fathers fell asleep, 
and yet remaining unclaimed, every consideration is 
pressing us to come forward and take possession of 
them. For observe what confessions of weakness 
our Protestant Churches are unconsciously putting 
forth on every hand. Note the dependence which 
is placed on artistic music, on expensive edifices ; 
on culture and eloquence in the pulpit ; on literary 
and social entertainments for drawing in the peo- 
ple, and on fairs and festivals for paying expenses 
Hear the reports that come in at any annual con 
vention of Churches, of the new organs and fres- 
coings and furnishings, and of the — not saints' festi- 
vals — but strawberry festivals and ice cream festi- 
vals and flower festivals and the large results there- 
from accruing. And all this from Churches that 
count themselves to be the body of Christ and the 
habitation of God through the Spirit ! Is not this 
an infinite descent from the primitive records of 


power and success — the Lord "confirming the 
word with signs following" and the preaching 
which was " not with enticing words of man's wis- 
dom but in demonstration of the Spirit and of 
power f" 

How deeply we need the demonstration of the 
Spirit in these days ! We have not utterly lost it 
indeed. When men are renewed by the Holy 
Ghost, and give the world the exhibition of a life 
utterly and instantly transformed, that is a master 
stroke for our divine religion. "And that is all we 
want," most will say. But did such ever witness 
an instance of a drunkard cured in a moment of 
enslaving appetite by the prayer of faith ; the opi- 
um habit which had baffled for years every device 
of the physicians broken and utterly eradicated by 
the direct energy of God's spirit ; the consumptive 
brought back from the edge of the grave, or the 
blind made to see by the same power, after long 
years of darkness — and the glowing love, the ex- 
exultant thankfulness, the fervid consecration which 
almost invariably follow such gracious deliverances ? 
If they have not, they have not witnessed a sight 
that has within our own time and knowledge ex- 
torted conviction from the most reluctant witnesses. 


These are some of the practical bearings of the 
question before us. 

It is not our purpose in this volume to define a 
miracle any further than we have already done so. 
For the definitions generally given are widely vari- 
ant ; and it is easy for a disputant to evade facts by 
entrenching himself behind a definition. We prefer 
rather to appeal to specimens of acknowledged 
miracles and then to press the question whether 
there have been any like them in modern days. It 
is written in the Acts of the Apostles as follows. 
"And it came to pass, that the father of Publius lay 
sick of a fever and of a bloody flux ; to whom Paul 
entered in and prayed and laid his hands on him 
and healed him."* This is conceded, we suppose 
to be a miracle of healing. Has anything of the 
same sort occurred in the Church since the days of 
the apostles ? 

Again it is written in the same book : 

" And a certain man lame from his mother's womb 
was carried, whom they laid daily at the gate of the 
temple which is called Beautiful, to ask alms of 
them that entered into the temple : Who, seeing 
Peter and John about to go into the temple, asked 

•ActoaSi 8. i Act* III: t.8. 


an dims. And Peter, fastening his eyes upon him 
with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed 
unto them, expecting to receive something of them. 
Then Peter said, silver and gold have I none ; but 
such as I have give I thee : In the name of Jesus 
Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk. And he 
took him by the right hand, and lifted him up : and 
immediately his feet and ankle bones received 
strength. And he leaping up stood, and walked, 
and entered with them into the temple, walking, 
and leaping, and praising God." 

This transaction is expressly called a " miracle of 
healing " in the same scripture. Has there been 
any recurrence of such a miracle since the time 
of Christ's immediate disciples ? It has been our 
purpose in preparing the present volume to let the 
history of the Church of all ages answer to the 
teaching of scripture on this question without pre- 
suming to dogmatize upon it ourselves. 

One who has not committed himself on this sub- 
ject, as it was the fortune of the writer to do a 
year ago in a little tract called "the Ministry of 
Healing" has several things to learn. First that 
there is a sensitiveness amounting often to extreme 
irratibility towards any who venture to disturb the 


traditional view of this question. Credulity is sure 
to get more censure than honest doubt ; and while 
one may with impunity fall behind the accepted 
standard of faith concerning the supernatural, pro- 
vided he does it in a regretfully necessitous spirit, 
it is hardly safe for one to go beyond that stand- 
ard. Thus a little experience has made us aware 
of the peril to which we have exposed ourselves of 
being sorely shot at by the theological archers. 
But being defamed we still entreat our critics to 
deal kindly and candidly with us since we desire 
naught but the furtherance of the truth. 

But in another way one has a real advantage 
who has published his views on such a question. 
His communication puts him en rapport with those 
like-minded, and opens to him sources of informa- 
tion which he could not otherwise have had. It 
has been an occasion of no little surprise to us to 
learn how widely the minds of Christians of all 
names and countries are exercised upon this subject. 
Information to this effect has come to us not only 
in the constant testimonies from humble Christians 
who bear witness to what God has wrought in their 
own bodies ; but also from pastors and evangelists 
and bible readers and foreign missionaries and in 


one instance from a theological professor expressing 
their strong assent to the view which is herein set 
forth. We are well aware indeed that it is not a 
question of human opinion, but of scriptural testi- 
mony. On the word of God therefore we wish oul 
argument to lean its heaviest weight. The wit* 
nesses which we have brought forward from the 
Church of all the ages, have been summoned only 
that they may corroborate this word. May the 
Lord graciously use whatever of truth there may 
be in this volume for the comfort and blessing of 
his children ; may he mercifully pardon whatever 
of error or forwardness of opinion it may contain. 
And if by his blessing and furtherance our word* 
should bring a ray of hope to any who are sick, let 
not those who are " whole " and who " need not a 
physician," unreasonably grudge their suffering 
and afflicted brethren this boon of comfort 



In the atonement of Christ there seems to be a 
foundation laid for faith in bodily healing. Seems 
— we say, for the passage to which we refer is so 
profound and unsearchable in its meaning that one 
would be very careful not to speak dogmatically in 
regard to it. But it is at least a deep and sugges- 
tive truth that we have Christ set before us as the 
sickness-bearer as well as the sin-bearer of his peo- 
ple. In the gospel it is written, " And he cast out 
devils and healed all that were sick, that it might 
be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet 
saying, Himself took our infirmities and bare our 
sicknesses."* Something more than sympathetic 
fellowship with our sufferings is evidently referred 
to here. The yoke of his cross by which he lifted 
our iniquities took hold also of our diseases ; so 
that it is in some sense true that as God " made 

•Matt. 8 1 if. 


him to be sin for us who knew no sin," so he made 
him to be sick for us who knew no sickness. He 
who entered into mysterious sympathy with our 
pain which is the fruit of sin, also put himself un- 
derneath our pain which is the penalty of sin. In 
other words the passage seems to teach that Christ 
endured vicariously our diseases as well as our 

If now it be true that our Redeemer and substi- 
tute bore our sicknesses, it would be natural to 
reason at once that he bore them that we might 
not bear them. And this inference is especially 
strengthened from the fact, that when the Lord 
Jesus removed the burden of disease from "all 
that were sick," we are told that it was done "that 

*Dr. Hovey commenting on this passage says: "The words quoted by the 
evaugelist are descriptive in the original passage of vicarious suffering. It is 
next to impossible to understand them otherwise. Hence in the miraculous healing 
of disease, a fruit if not a penalty of sin, Jesus appears to have had a full sense of 
the evil and pain which he removed. His anguish in the garden and on the cross 
was but the culmination of that which he felt almost daily while healiug the sick, 
cleansing the leprous or forgiving the penitent. By the holy sharpness of his vis- 
ion he pierced quite through the veil of sense and natural cause, and saw the 
■moral evil, the black root of all disorder, the source of all bodily suffering. He 
could therefore Ileal neitlier bodily nor spiritual disease without a deep con- 
sciousness of his special relation to tnan as the substitute, the Redeemer, tlie 
Lamb of God who was to bear the penalty ef the world' } s guilt." The Miracles 
of Christ, p. 1 20. 


the scripture might be fulfilled, Himself took our 
infirmities and bare our sicknesses." Let us re- 
member what our theology is in regard to atone- 
ment for sin. "Christ bore your sins, that you 
might be delivered from them," we say to the pen- 
itent. Not sympathy — a suffering with, but sub- 
stitution — a suffering for, is our doctrine of the 
Cross ; and therefore we urge the transgressor to 
accept the Lord Jesus as his sin-bearer, that he 
may himself no longer have to bear the pains and 
penalties of his disobedience. But should we 
shrink utterly from reasoning thus concerning 
Christ as our pain-bearer? We do so argue to 
some extent at least.. For we hold that in its 
ultimate consequences the atonement affects the 
body as well as the soul of man. Sanctification 
is the consummation of Christ's redemptive work 
for the soul ; and resurrection is the consumma- 
tion of his redemptive work for the body. And 
these meet and are fulfilled at the coming and 
kingdom of Christ. 

But there is a vast intermediate work of cleans- 
ing and renewal effected for the soul. Is there 
none of healing and recovery for the body ? Here, 
to make it plain, is the Cross of Christ ; yonder is 


the Coming of Christ. These are the two piers of 
redemption, spanned by the entire dispensation of 
the Spirit and by all the ordinances and offices of 
the gospel At the cross we read this two-fold 
declaration : — 

" Who his own self bare our sins." 
" Himself bare our sicknesses." 
At the coming we find this two-fold work prom- 
ised : — 

" The sanctification of the Spirit." 
"The redemption of the body." 
The work of sanctification for the spirit stretches 
on from the cross to the crown, progressive and 
increasing till it is completed. Does the work of 
the body's redemption touch only at these two 
remote points ? Has the gospel no office of heal- 
ing and blessing to proclaim meantime for the 
physical part of man's nature ? In answering this 
question we only make the following suggestions, 
which point significantly in one direction. 

Christ's ministry was a two-fold ministry, effect- 
ing constantly the souls and the bodies of men. 
" Thy sins are forgiven thee," and " Be whole of 
thy plague," are parallel announcements of the 
Saviour's work which are found constantly running 
on side by side. 


The ministry of the apostles, under the guidance 
of the Comforter, is the exact fac-simile of the 
Master's. Preaching the kingdom and healing the 
sick ; redemption for the soul and deliverance for 
the body — these are its great offices and an- 
nouncements. Certain great promises of the gos- 
pel have this double reference to pardon and cure. 
The commission for the world's evangelization bids 
its messengers stretch out their hands to the sin- 
ner with the message, " He that believeth shall be 
saved," and to " lay hands on the sick and they 
shall recover." The promise by James, concern- 
ing the prayer of faith, is that it " shall save the 
sick, and if he have committed sins they shall be 
forgiven him." Thus this two-fold ministry of re- 
mission of sins and remission of sickness extends 
through the days of Christ and that of the apos- 

We only suggest these facts, leaving the exam- 
ple and acts and promises of the Lord and his apos- 
tles to stretch out their silent index in the direction 
which our argument will obediently pursue through- 
out this discussion. 

Only one other fact need be alluded to — the 
subtle, mysterious, and clearly recognized rtiwliop 


of sin and disease. The ghastly flag of leprosy, 
flung out in the face of Miriam, told instantly that 
the pirate sin had captured her heart. Not less 
truly did the crimson glow of health announce her 
forgiveness when afterwards the Lord had par- 
doned her and restored her to his fellowship. And 
it is obvious at once that our Redeemer cannot 
forgive and eradicate sin without in the same act 
disentangling the roots which that sin has struck 
into our mortal bodies. 

He is the second Adam come to repair the ruin 
of the first And in order to accomplish this he 
will follow the lines of man's transgression back to 
their origin, and forward to their remotest issue. 
He will pursue the serpent trail of sin, dispensing 
his forgiveness and compassion as he goes, till at 
last he finds the wages of sin, and dies its death 
on the cross ; and he will follow the wretched 
track of disease with his healing and recovery, 
till in his resurrection he shall exhibit to the 
world the first fruits of these redeemed bodies, in 
which " this corruptible shall have put on incor- 
ruption, and this mortal shall have put on immor- 

From this mysterious and solemn doctrine of the 


gospel, let us turn now to some of its clear and 
explicit promises. 

We will take first the words of the gospel ac- 
cording to Mark : " These signs sJtall follow them 
that believe : in my name shall they cast out devils ; 
they shall speak with other tongues ; they shall take 
up serpents ; and if they drink any deadly thing it 
shall not hurt them, ; they shall lay their hands on 
the sick and they shall recover." * 

It is important to observe that this rich cluster 
of miraculous promises all hangs by a single stem, 
faith. And this is not some exclusive, or esoteric 
faith. The same believing to which is attached 
the promise of salvation, has joined to it also the 
promise of miraculous working. Nor is there any 
ground for limiting this promise to apostolic times 
and apostolic men, as has been so violently at- 
tempted. The links of the covenant are very 
securely forged, "He that believeth and is baptized 
shall be saved," in any and every age of the Chris- 
tian dispensation. So with one consent the church 
has interpreted the words, " And these signs shall 
follow them that believe" in every generation and 


period of the church's history; — so the language 
compels us to conclude. 

And let us not unbraid this two-fold cord of 
promise, holding fast to the first strand because 
we know how to use it, and flinging the other back 
to the apostles because we know not how to use it. 
When our Lord gives command to the twelve, as he 
sends them forth, " to heal all manner of sickness 
and all manner of diseases," we might conclude 
that this was an apostolic commission, and one 
which we could not be warranted in applying to 
ourselves. But here the promise is not only to the 
apostles, but to those who should believe on Christ 
through the word of these apostles ; or as Bullingef 
the Reformer very neatly puts it in his comment 
on the passage, to " both the Lord's disciples and thf 
disciples of the Lords disciples" * 

Whatever practical difficulties we may have in 
regard to the fulfilment of this word, these ought 
not to lead us to limit it where the Lord has not 

* " Et discipuli Domini, et discipulorum Domini discipuli." And to show his 
belief in the fulfilment of the promise, Bullinger adds, " To this the Acts of the 
Apostles bear witness. Ecclesiastical history bears witness to the same. Lastly, 
the present times bear witness; wherein through confidence in the name oj 
Crnrisi numbers greatly afflicted and shattered with disease are restored afresh 


limited it For if reason or tradition throws om 
half of this illustrious promise into eclipse, tho 
danger is that the other half may become involved. 
Indeed we shall not soon forget the cogency with 
which we heard a skilful skeptic use this text 
against one who held the common opinion concern- 
ing it Urged to "believe on the Lord Jesus 
Christ," that he might be saved, he answered : 
" How can I be sure that this part of the promise 
will be kept with me, when, as you admit, the other 
part is not kept with the church of to-day ? " And 
certainly, standing on the traditional ground, one 
must be dumb before such reasoning. The only 
safe position is to assert emphatically the perpetu- 
ity of the promise, and with the same emphasis to 
admit the general weakness and failure of the 
church's faith in appropriating it.* For who does 
not see that a confession of human inability is a 
far safer and more rational refuge for the Christian 
than an implication of the divine changeableness 
and limitation. There is a phrase of the apostle 
Paul which has always struck us as containing 
marvellous keenness and wisdom if not covert 

•"The reason why mt rn rn j miracha »r« not now wrong hi k not ao much becauat 
fafck i i — H bhh c d . m th» wmitli^f rtigns."- JfcappC 


irony — " What the law could not do in that it 
was weak through the flesh." The law must not 
be impugned by even a suspicion ; " the law of the 
Lord is perfect." But there has been utter failure 
under its working — the perfection which it re- 
quires has not appeared. Rashly and dangerously, 
it would seem, the apostle has arraigned the law, 
telling us what it " could not do " and wherein it 
was " weak " — and then, having brought us to the 
perilous edge of disloyalty, he suddenly turns and 
puts the whole fault on us where it belongs — 
" What the law could not do in that it was weak 
through the flesh" The one weak spot in the law 
is human nature ; there is where the break is sure 
to come ; there is where the fault is sure to lie. 
In like manner this great promise, with which 
Christ's commission is enriched and authenticated, 
has failed only through our unbelief. It is weak 
through the weakness of our faith, and inoperative 
through lack of our co-operating obedience.* We 
believe therefore that whatever difficulties there 
may be in us, there is but one attitude for us to 

•"It is the want of faith in our age which is the greatest hindrance to the 
stronger and more marked appearance of that miraculous power which is working 
iiere and there in quiet concealment. Unbelief is the final and most important 
reason fin- the retrogression of mira c l e s" — CkristlUVs Modern Doubt, /. 3j4 


take as expounders of the scripture, that of unqual- 
ified assent. 

The treatment which the Commentator Stier 
gives to this passage is truly refreshing. It is a 
brawny Saxon exegesis laying hold of a text, to 
cling to it, not to cull from it ; to crown it with an 
amen ! not to condition it with a date. For he puts 
the two sayings side by side and bids us look at 
them ; moteieae " He that believeth ; shall be saved:" 
mateiiagt "Them that believe; these signs shall 
follow." And then he gives us these strong words. 
" Both the one and the other apply to ourselves 
down to the present day and indeed for all future 
time. Every one applies the first part of the 
saying to ourselves : teaching everywhere that faith 
and baptism are necessary in all ages to salvation, 
and that unbelief in all ages excludes from it. 
But what right has any to separate the words that 
Jesus immediately added from his former words ? 
Where is it said that these former words have refe- 
rence to all men and all Christians, but that the 
promised signs which should follow those who be- 
lieve referred solely to the Christians of the first 
age ? What God hath joined together, let not man 
put asunder." 


It should be observed however, that while the same 
word is employed in both clauses of this text, there 
is a change in number from the singular to the 
plural form. "He that believeth and is baptized 
shall be saved." The promise of eternal life is to 
personal faith, and to every individual on the ground 
of his faith. " Them that believe, these signs shall 
follow." The promise of miracles is to the faithful 
as a body. The church has come into existence so 
soon as any have believed and been baptized ; and 
thus this guarantee of miraculous signs seems to 
be to the church in its corporate capacity. "Are all 
workers of miracles? have all the gifts of healing? 
do all speak with tongues?" asks the apostle. 
Nay, but some employ these offices, so that the 
gifts are found in the church as a whole. For the 
church is " the body of Christ," and to vindicate 
its oneness with the Head it shall do the things 
which he did, as well as speak the words which he 
spake. How significant the place where this 
promise is found ! It was given just as the Lord 
was to be received up into heaven to become 
" Head over all things to his church." It is Eli- 
jah's mantle let fall upon Elisha ; so that having 
this, the disciple can repeat the miracles of the 


Master. Oh timid church, praying for a " double 
portion of the Spirit " of the ascending prophet, 
and having his promise "greater works than these 
shall ye do, because I go to my Father," and yet 
afraid to claim even a fragment of his miracle work- 
ing power! We conclude therefore that this 
text teaches that the miraculous gifts were be- 
stowed to abide in the church to the end, though 
not that every believer should be endowed with 

This promise given in Mark emerges in perform- 
ance in the Acts of the Apostles. But it is sig- 
nificant and to be carefully observed, that the mi- 
raculous gifts are not found exclusively in the 
hands of the Apostles. Stephen and Philip and 
Barnabas, exercised them. These did not belong 
to the twelve, to that special and separated body 
of disciples with whom it has been said, that the 
gifts were intended to remain. It was not Stephen 
an apostle, but " Stephen a man full of faith and 
of the Holy Ghost—" " Stephen full of faith and 
power* that "did great wonders and miracles 
among the people."* We in these days cannot be 
apostles : but we are commanded to be " filled with 

•• Kingiii : 9, 15. * Acts vi: 5,8. 


the Spirit," and therefore are at least required and 
enjoined to have Stephen's qualifications. Ac- 
cording to the teaching in Corinthians it is as mem- 
bers of Christ's body and partakers of his Spirit, 
that we receive these truths.* 

We come now to consider the promise in James 
v : 14, 15. "Is any sick among you ? Let him call 
for the elders of the Church; and let them pray over 
him anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 
And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the 
Lord shall raise him up : and if he have committed 
sins they shall be forgiven him." 

Now let us note the presumption there is that 
this passage refers to an established and perpetual 
usage in the Church. 

That command in the great commission — " Bap- 
tizing them in the name of the Father, and of the 
Son, and of the Holy Ghost," appears in the Acts 
of the apostles in constant exercise; and in the 

*" You say that Christ "Jesus and his Apostles and Messengers were endued 
with power from on high not only to preach the word for conversion but also with 
power of casting out Devils and healing bodily diseases. I answer, as an holy 
witness of Christ Jesus once answered a Bishop. ' / am a member of Christ 
Jesus as well as Peter himself.' The least Believer and Follower of Jesus 
partakes of the nature and spirit of him their holy head and husband as wejl 
as the strongest and holiest that ever died or suffered for his holy name." 

Roger Williams' Experiments of Spiritual Life and Health, 1652. 


letters of the Apostles as explained unfolded and 

The injunction given at the institution of the 
supper " This do in remembrance of me" appears 
in the Acts of the Apostles in constant exercise ; 
and in the letters of the apostles as explained and 
unfolded, and enforced.! 

The promise given also in the great commission, 
" They sJiall lay their hands on the sick and they 
shall recover," appears in the Acts of the Apostles 
in constant exercise, and in the letters of the 
apostles as explained, unfolded and enforced. J Thus 
this office like the great ordinances of Christianity 
rests on the three-fold support of promise and prac- 
tice and precept. And we cannot too strongly em- 
phasize this fact that what was given by our Lord 
in promise before his ascension should appear as an 
established usage in the church after his ascension. 
For we all insist that the church of the apostles 
was the model for all time. When we are called 
"followers of the Lord" we might rightly protest 
that though his followers, we surely could not be 
expected to walk in his steps as he enters the field 

•Rom. ri: 3,4. Col. It i*. i Pet iii: at. t Arts ii. 46: 1 Cor. z: il 
jiCor. xii: j> Janes r : 14, if. 


of the miraculous. When we hear Paul saying 
" Be ye followers of me, as I am of Christ " we 
might well insist that we could not imitate him in 
working wonders since he is an apostle and we only 
humble disciples. But when we read " For ye 
brethren became followers of the Churches of God 
which in Judea are in Christ "we say "Yes! in 
every point and punctilio. For these are the pat- 
tern for all churches in all time." So we all hold 
and teach. We believe that there is nothing in all 
the ordering and furniture of the church which 
was present in the beginning which should be ab- 
sent now. And if we rejoice in having the laver 
and the bread of the ordinances, the ministry of 
the word and prayer ; not the less should we willing- 
ly be without the primitive miraculous gifts which 
were like the Shechinah glory, the outward visible 
signs of God's presence among his people. 

To return now to the text which we are consid- 
ering. Here is the calling for the elders of the 
church — a voluntary appeal to the ministry and 
intercessions of the servants of God. Oil is applied 
as a symbol of the communication of the Spirit, by 
whose power healing is effected. It does not seem 
reasonable to suppose, that it is used for its medic- 


inal properties. Because observe, it is the elders 
of the church, not the doctors of physic, who are 
called to apply it ; and it is accompanied by prayer, 
not by manipulations and medications. As in 
Baptism the disciple confesses his faith in the 
cleansing power of Christ's atonement, by the use 
of water ; or, as in the Communion he declares his 
dependence on Christ for spiritual sustenance, by 
the use of bread ; so here he avows his faith in the 
saving health of the Spirit by the use of oil* In 
other words, this whole ceremony is a kind of sac- 
ramental profession of faith in Jesus Christ as the 
Divine Physician acting through the Holy Ghost. 
Such public profession of faith in Christ as the 
Healer the Lord seems rigidly to require, just as 
he demands baptism as a confession of faith in him 
as the Redeemer. Neither in the forgiveness of 
sin nor in the remission of sickness will he permit 
a clandestine blessing. There are many who would 
gladly secure his healing virtue by stealth, laying 
hold of it secretly, but avoiding the publicity and 
possible reproach of having applied to such a phy- 

* Lange commenting on Mark vi : 13 : " And they anointed toitk oil many that 
vterr sick and healed them" say* that oil here is " simply a symbolic medium of 
the miraculous work ; " and that " the anointing was a symbol of the bestowment 
vi ibe Spirit as a preliminary condition of healing." 


sician. But this cannot be. The Lord will have 
an open acknowledgment of our faith. It will be 
remembered that from the woman whom he healed 
of an issue of blood, he drew forth a public confes- 
sion before he pronounced that full and authorita- 
tive absolution from sickness,* "go in peace and 
be whole of thy plague." 

The promise of recovery is explicit and uncon- 
ditional — " And the prayer of faith shall save the 
sick and the Lord shall raise him up ; and if he 
have committed sins they shall be forgiven him." 
Doubtless the words "prayer of faith " should be 
strongly emphasized. It is the intercession accom- 
panied by the special miraculous faith alluded to in 
the scriptures as "the gift of faith," and "the gift 
of healing" — a faith which we believe to be not 
wanting in this age, though comparatively so rare. 
And the words which Bengel italicizes in his Com- 
mentary ought to be strongly marked — " Let them 

* "Threfore when she held her peace trustyng that she might still be undescryed, 
lie looked round about upon the people. This looking about was a gesture of him 
that courteously required a confession of tlie benefit receyved. He would not 
utter her by name, lest he should have seemed to hit her in the teeth with the good 
turn he dyd her. It was a pricke or provocation given to make her to put away 
that unprofitable shamefastenes s and to •wryng out of her a holesome confession.' 
«- Thomas Key. 


use oil who are able by their prayers to obtain recov- 

ery for the sick ; let those who cannot do this ah' 
stain from the empty sign" If the peculiar mirac- 
ulous faith of which we speak had utterly disap- 
peared from the church, then it would certainly be 
best that the usage of anointing should be wanting 
also, rather than continue as a hollow sign, or as in 
the extreme unction of the church of Rome, a 
standing sacramental confession of inability to ren- 
der any help to the diseased. 

But we are persuaded better things than this. 
We believe that there are those in our own time 
who have humbly sought, and manifestly obtained 
this gift of prevailing faith. If the larger ma- 
jority of Christians, either through wrong teaching 
or indifference have willingly consented to surren- 
der this primitive birth-right of the church, and 
have learned to say without emotion to the sick, 
that lie at their doors " thy bruise is incurable, and 
thy wound is grevious, there is none to plead 
thy cause that thou mayest be bound up ; " there 
are some who are more jealous for the Lord's 
honor in this matter. Because they believe that 
the miraculous gifts are for all ages, they have 
thought it not covetous to seek them for them- 


selves — and yet not for themselves, but that 
through them the Lord might still show forth his 
glory. And why should it be thought a thing in- 
credible that they may have obtained what they 
sought ? In the old dispensation were miracles of 
healing shut up within some narrow and special 
age ? Run through the list and see : — Abraham 
healing Abimelech and his household by his pray- 
ers to God ; Moses crying unto God for Miriam, 
" Heal her now, O God I beseech thee," and the 
Lord, answering with the promise that after seven 
days her leprosy should depart ; God's cure of the 
bitten Israelites in answer to Moses' prayer, and 
through a look of faith at the brazen serpent ; 
Naaman the Syrian recovered of his leprosy by 
the faith of Elisha ; Hezekiah raised up from his 
death bed in answer to prayer and his life length- 
ened out fifteen years, and other instances which 
we have not space to refer to. These miracles of 
healing were not confined to the opening of a dis- 
pensation, but belonged to its entire history. In- 
deed intercession for healing was a part of the 
very ritual of Jewish worship and its answer a 
part of God's explicit covenant with his people. 
Hear Solomon's prayer at the dedication of the 


Temple. " W/iatsoever sore, or whatsoever sickness 
there be: then what prayer, or what supplication 
soever shall be made of any man, or of all thy 
people Israel, then hear Thou from heaven Thy 
dwelling-place, and forgive."* And hear God's 
promise in reference to this same matter. " I have 
heard thy prayer and thy supplication that thou 
hast made before me : I have hallowed this house 
to put my name there forever."! " If I shut up 
heaven, or if I send pestilence among my people ; 
if my people humble themselves, and pray, and seek 
my face, and turn from their wicked ways ; then 
will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, 
and will heal their land."% Here is a broad promise 
conditioned indeed by the repentance and faith of 
the people of Israel, but fenced by no statute of limi- 
tations, shutting up God's mercies within a certain 
miraculous era. And we know from the history of 
prophets and saints how constantly this promise 
opened to the key of faith and poured forth its 
treasures. This under the old covenant ! How 
much greater things might we expect under the 
new, after that the Lord had ascended up on high 
and given gifts to men — the Comforter the great 

• a Chron.|vi : 38-30. 
t f Kings fall j. la Chron. vii : 1 j, 14. 


est and supreme gift to abide perpetually in the 
church ; and with him and through him, " miracles, 
gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities 
of tongues." 

It is comparatively easy indeed to credit miracles 
in these olden times of patriarchs and prophets, 
because of the enchantment of distance and the 
halo of superior sanctity through which the men 
of these times are seen. But antiquity has no 
monopoly of God's gifts, and ancient men as such 
had no entr&e into God's treasure house which is 
denied to us. How very significantly James en. 
forces the doctrine, "the effectual fervent prayer of 
a righteous man availeth much." After the exhorta- 
tion, " pray one for another that ye maybe healed" — 
as though reading the thoughts which might come 
into our minds, of the superior faith of prophets 
and the higher privilege of apostles the Spirit adds, 
" Elias was a man subject to like passions as we 
are — " Not some privileged courtier of the King of 
kings, not some high and titled chancellor of the 
exchequer of heaven having rights of access and 
intercourse with God of which we know nothing 
— "and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain : 
and it rained not on the earth for the space of 


three years and six months, and he prayed again 
and the heavens gave rain and the earth brought 
forth her fruit." If he could shut and open heav- 
en, not the less can you the children of to-day, 
since he is a brother and kinsman in the same 
bonds of frailty, and fear, and also a son and disci- 
ple of "the same Lord over all who is rich unto all 
that call upon him." 

Such is the Spirit's practical enforcement of this 
great promise of healing. How much we need to 
ponder it ! How much we need to re-learn the truth, 
that, though Christ who heard the cry of the suf- 
fering and touched them with healing, has gone 
far off "above all heavens," and ages have been add- 
ed to his eternal years " whose goings forth have 
been of old from everlasting," still "his hand is 
not shortened that it cannot save ; neither is his 
ear heavy that it cannot hear." 



" Nowise contrary to scripture and very agreea 
ble to reason ; " is the opinion with which Arch- 
bishop Tillotson closes his observations on the 
recurrence of Christian miracles in modern times. 

It may be asked, what reason has to do with 
such a question. Nothing except as corroborating 
the testimony of faith. Miracles have not been 
generally defended on the ground of their intrin- 
sic reasonableness, but on that of their scriptu- 
ral authority ; and that in us which first assents to 
their reality is not so much the logical mind as the 
docile heart — " the heart proffering itself by hu- 
miliation to inspiration " as Pascal expresses it. And 
yet we hold that to believe in miracles is reasona- 
ble, after it is faithful. That supreme miracle, the 
resurrection of our Lord was first credited and 
published by loving and devoted believers ; but it 
has since been defended again and again by Chris- 
tian philosophers. So then, reason is not forbid- 
den to look into the empty tomb and see the folded 


grave clothes and therefrom to conclude that Christ 
is risen, only she must be accompanied by faith and 
not be surprised if faith like that " other disciple " 
shall outrun her and come first to the sepul- 

Believing miracles to have existed in the days 
of Christ and the Apostles, is it reasonable to 
conclude that they may have continued to exist 
until our own time ? It seems to us that it is. 

For in the first place if they should cease they 
would form quite a distinct exception to every 
thing else which the Lord introduced by his 
ministry. The doctrines which he promulgated 
and which his apostles preached, atonement, justi- 
fication, sanctification and redemption, have never 
been abrogated or modified. The ordinances which 
he enjoined, Baptism and the Lord's Supper, have 
never been repealed. The divine operations in 
the soul, which he ordained for man's recovery 
from the fall, "the washing of regeneration and 
the renewing of the Holy Ghost " have never been 
suspended. These belong to the dispensation of 
Grace which Jesus Christ introduced and which is 
V> span the whole period between his first and his 

•Jofanxx: 4- 


second advents. All orthodox Christians hold 
them to be perpetual and unchangable. 

And not only so, there was to be a development 
of these doctrines and operations of Christianity 
under the administration of the Spirit, so that the 
stream which started with Christ's ministry was to 
widen and deepen under the ministry of those who 
should come after him. " I have many things to 
say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now, how- 
beit when he the Spirit of Truth is come, He will 
guide you into all truth" — an enlargement of 
knowledge and a development of doctrine under 
the ministry of the Comforter rather than a de- 
crease ! 

"Verily, verily I say unto you, He that believeth 
on me, the works that I do shall he do also, and 
greater works than these shall he do because I go 
unto my Fathet — "* a reinforcement of power 
for service rather than an abatement ! And all in- 
telligent Christians admit that these promises were 
fulfilled in the wider unfolding of truth and the 
more extensive work of regeneration which have 
occurred under the administration of the Spirit. 

The law of Christianity is from less to greater, 

•Johaxiv: 13-16-13. 


and not from greater to less. " Of all that Jesus 
began both to do and teach until the day in which 
he was taken up" are the significant words with 
which the Acts of the Apostles opens ; and as the 
beginnings are less than the unfoldings, we may 
conclude that the Lord was to do more through 
the Spirit's ministry than through his own. And 
so far as works of regeneration and salvation are 
concerned this undoubtedly proved true and is 
proving just as true to-day. The conversion of 
three thousand souls in a single day under Peter's 
preaching surpasses any thing which occurred in 
the earthly ministry of Christ ; and the conversion 
of ten thousand in a year on a single mission field 
in India, also surpasses the results of any single 
year in the Saviour's ministry. 

Now as the " Works " of Christ are among the 
things which He " began to do," miracles of heal- 
ing stood side by side with miracles of regenera- 
tion and therefore we say that the theory of the 
" gradual cessation " of miracles contradicts all 
analogy. We have read of certain South African 
rivers which instead of beginning as tiny brooks 
and flowing on deepening and widening as they go, 
burst out from prolific springs and then become 


shallower and shallower as they flow on until they 

are lost in the wastes of sand without ever reach- 
ing the sea. Two streams of blessings started 
from the personal ministry of our Lord, a stream 
of healing and a stream of regeneration ; the one 
for the recovery of the body and the other for the 
recovery of the soul, and these two flowed on side 
by side through the apostolic age. Is it quite rea- 
sonable to suppose that the purpose of God was 
that one should run on through the whole dispen- 
sation of the Spirit and that the other should fade 
away and utterly disappear within a single genera- 
tion ? We cannot think so. 

If miracles were abnormal manifestations of di- 
vine power, against nature as well as above nature 
they might indeed be expected to cease; for the 
abnormal is not as a rule perpetual. The earth- 
quakes and volcanoes, nature's agues and fever fits 
are soon over ; but the sunshine and the rain, the 
breezes and the blossoms, nature's tokens of health 
are perennial. And miracles of healing are mani- 
festations of nature's perfect health and wholeness, 
lucid intervals granted to our deranged and suffer- 
ing humanity. They are not catastrophes, but 
exhibitions of that divine order which shall be 


brought in when our redemption is completed. We 
cannot for a moment admit the complaint of scep- 
tics that miracles are an infraction of the laws of 
nature. Alas ! for them that they have so lost their 
ear for harmony that they cannot distinguish 
earth's wail from Heaven's Alleluiah; and know 
not the difference between the groans of a suffer- 
ing creation and the music of the spheres, as it was 
on that day when "the morning stars sung together 
and all the sons of God shouted for joy." Mira- 
cles of healing and dispossession are reminiscen- 
ces of an unfallen Paradise and prophecies of a 
Paradise regained. Though we call them super- 
natural, they are not contranaturaL " For surely " 
as one has said, " it is plainly contrary to nature 
and indeed most unnatural that one should have 
eyes and not see, ears and not hear, organs of 
speech and not speak, and limbs without the power 
to use them ; but not that a Saviour should come 
and loose his fetters. It was contrary to nature 
that ruthless death should sever the bands of love 
which God himself has knit between mother and 
son, between brother and sister but not that a 
young man of Nain or a Lazarus should be released 
from the fetters of death through a mighty word J 


And that was the climax of the unnatural that the 
world should nail the only righteous one to the cross ; 
but not that the holy bearer of that cross should 
conquer undeserved death, should rise and victo- 
riously enter into his glory."* 

If then miracles of healing are exhibitions of 
divine recovery and order in nature and not rude 
irruptions of disorder, why having been once be- 
gun should they entirely cease ? We are under the 
dispensation of the Spirit which we hold to be an 
unchangable dispensation so long as it shall con- 
tinue. On the day of Pentecost the Holy Spirit 
was installed in office to abide in the church per- 
petually. Exactly as the first disciples were under 
the personal ministry of Christ we are under 
the personal ministry of the Comforter. Having 
begun his miracles at Cana of Galilee, Jesus never 
permanently suspended them. His last gracious 
act before he was delivered into the hands of wick- 
ed men was to stretch forth his hand and heal the 
ear of the high priest's servant. And having wrought 
the first notable miracle after Pentecost by the 
hand of Peter at " the Beautiful gate " why should 
the Holy Ghost in a little while cease from his mi- 



raculous works? We know that the Lord "did 

not many mighty works " in a certain place " because 
of their unbelief" and that the place where he was 
thus hindered was " in his own country and in his 
own house." But we know not that he would not 
do mighty works in any place u faith were present ; 
and were it not a simpler solution of this whole 
question to say that possibly Christ through the 
Holy Ghost will not do many miracles to-day on 
account of man's unbelief, than to say that he wills 
not to do them ? 

Then again the use which was made of miracles 
of healing as signs seems to argue strongly for 
their permanency. 

If the substance remains unchanged why should 
the sign which was originally chosen to exhibit it 
be superseded ? 

It is said, indeed, with some show of reasonable- 
ness, that Christianity being a spiritual system, 
physical miracles were but the staging employed 
for the erection of that system, destined to fall 
away and disappear so soon as it should be com- 
pleted. That certainly might be so. But how do 
we regard the argument of those who have reason- 
ed precisely thus about the ordinances of Christian- 


ity ? The Friends and other bodies of religionists 
have said that the rites of Baptism and the Lord's 
Supper are too physical to be perpetuated in con- 
nection with a spiritual religion ; that whatever 
place they may have had in the founding of 
Christianity they are not demanded for its continu- 
ance. To which we reply at once — first, that they 
constitute a vivid sign and picture-writing of the 
great foundation facts of Christianity, the death 
and resurrection of our Lord ; that they are a 
pledge and earnest of those great things to come 
at the resurrection of the just and the marriage 
supper of the Lamb, and that by the constant and 
glowing appeal which they make to the senses, 
they tend to keep these facts in perpetual remem- 
brance ; and, secondly, that however we may rea- 
son about it, these are ordinances, established for 
continual observance by the Lord until he come, 
and therefore we are forbidden to terminate them. 
This reasoning would be accepted, doubtless, as 
sound by all orthodox believers. But we can argue 
in precisely the same way about the "signs" which 
attested the first preaching of the Gospel. In the 
great commission we have them solemnly estab. 
lished as the accompaniments of preaching and 


believing the Gospel. In James' epistle we find 
healing recognized as an ordinance, just as in 
Paul's epistles to the Romans and to the Corinthi- 
ans we find Baptism and the Supper recognized as 
ordinances. As signs they could never loose their 
significance till the Lord comes again ; they pointed 
upward and told the world that Christ who had 
been crucified was alive and on the throne ; they 
pointed forward and declared that he would come 
again and subdue all things unto himseli This 
last we believe to be the chief testimony of mira- 
cles as signs : They were given to be witnesses to 
the " restitution of all things " which Christ shall 
accomplish at his coming and Kingdom. For 
notice how invariably our Lord joins the command- 
ment to heal the sick and to cast out devils with 
the commission to preach the Kingdom, thus : 
" Jesus went about preaching the Gospel of the 
Kingdom and healing all manner of sickness and 
all manner of disease amongst the people." "And 
as ye go preach, saying : the Kingdom of Heaven 
is as hand. Heal the sick ; cleanse the lepers ; 
raise the dead ; cast out devils." * Healing and 
resurrection and the casting out of demons were a 

* Matt. 4 : ij. Matt 10 : 7, read also Luke 9 : 1 and 10, 9, 


kind of first fruits of the Kingdom, to be present- 
ed along with its announcement. As, to use a 
familiar illustration, the commercial traveller car- 
ries samples of his goods as he goes forth soliciting 
trade, the Lord would have his ministers carry 
specimens and tokens of the Kingdom in their 
hands as they went forth to preach that Kingdom.* 
This seems to be what is referred to in that 
picture of the groaning creation which we find in 
the eighth chapter of Romans : " But ourselves, 
also, which have the first fruits of the Spirit even 
we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for 
the adoption to wit the redemption of the body." f 
As though it were said : we have witnessed the 
works of the Spirit in healing the body of its sick- 
nesses, in dispossessing it of the evil spirit, in quick- 

* " The devil is said to be he who has the power of death : he is the author of 
death ; ha introduced sin into the world, and through sin death ; and as he is the 
author of death, so he is the author of disease, which is just a form of death, and 
which, as well as death, is the work of the devil. And, therefore, Jesus while he 
was upon the earth healed the sick and raised the dead, not merely to typify a 
spiritual healing and quickening, but to prove that he was indeed the promised 
Deliverer by destroying the works of the devil, and also to give a fore-taste and a 
shadow of the ultimate effect of his redemption upon the whole man, body and 
soul. And thus we find in the New Testament that the healing of the sick and 
the preaching of the Gospel of the Kingdom are almost always co-joined, and 
are so spoken of as though they meant the same thing." — Thos Erskine; Bra- 
zen Serpent, p. 272. 

1 Romans 8 : 23. 


cning it from the power of death ; and this make* 
us long only the more for that crowning and con. 
summated work of the Spirit, of which these 
things are but an earnest ; when " he that raised 
up Jesus from the dead shall quicken your mortal 
bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you." These 
signs were the fore-tokens of the body's redemp- 
tion which the Lord at the first bade his messengers 
carry with them as they went forth preaching Jesus 
and the resurrection. Even dumb, suffering nature 
would be made glad by the sight of them. Goethe 
beautifully says, " Often have I had the sensation 
as if nature in wailing sadness entreated something 
of me, so that not to understand what she longed 
for cut me to the heart." But we understand what 
she longs for, " For we know that the whole cre- 
ation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until 
now, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption 
of the body." And they who " have tasted the 
powers of the world to come " were bidden to go 
forth and preach the Kingdom, bearing in their 
hands the grapes of Eschol, which they have 
brought from that Kingdom, that they may show 
what a goodly land that is where "The inhabitant 
shall no more say I am sick." Thus, not only our 


wounded and pain-stricken humanity shall be 
cheered with the hope of better things, but even 
dumb nature shall be comforted by these fore- 
gleams of that millennium wherein " the creature 
itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of 
corruption into the glorious liberty of the children 
of God." * 

Now why, if these credentials were so rigidly 
attached to the first preaching of the Kingdom, 
should they utterly disappear from its later pro- 
clamation ? There is the same groaning of cre- 
ation to be answered ; the same coming of the King 
to be announced ; the same unrepealed commission 
of the Master to be carried out. The answer 
given by the majority to this question is : "Signs 
are no longer needed." If reason can be satisfied 
with this answer, faith cannot. For "faith has 
its reasons, which reason cannot understand." 
Among these is this : " Jesus Christ, the same 
yesterday, to-day, and forever." Miracles we hold 

♦"Sickness is sin apparent in the body, the presentiment of death, the forerunner 
of corruption. Disease of every kind is mortality begun. Now, as Christ came 
to destroy death, and will yet redeem the body from the bondage of corruption, if 
the Church is to have a first-fruits or earnest of this power it must be by receiving 
power over diseases which are the first fruits and earnest of death."— Edward 
Irving. Works. V. p. 464. 


to be a shadow of good things to come. The good 
thing to come for the soul is its full and perfect 
sanctification at the appearing of the Lord. The 
work of regeneration and daily renewal by the 
Holy Ghost is the constant reminder and pledge 
and preparation for that event ; and regeneration 
is a "perpetual miracle." The good thing to come 
for the body is " glorified corporeity," resurrection 
and transformation into Christ's perfect likeness 
when he shall appear. Healing by the power of 
the Holy Ghost is the pledge and foretoken of this 
consummation. Was it in God's purpose that we 
should never again witness this after the apostolic 
age was past ? 

Here let us answer three or four objections 
which have been urged against our position. 
" If you insist that miracles of healing are possi- 
ble in this age, then," it is said, "you must 
logically admit that such miracles as raising the 
dead, turning water into wine, and speaking in 
unknown tongues are still possible." But it re- 
quires only a casual glance to see that healing 
through the prayer of faith stands on an entirely 
different basis from any of these other miracles. 

Raising the dead is no where promised as a 


privilege or possibility for the believers of to-day. 
There is, indeed, in one instance, Matt, x : 8, a com- 
mand to raise the dead ; but this was given specifi- 
cally to the twelve and in a temporary commission. 
It therefore differs very materially from the prom- 
ise in Mark xvi, which was to all believers, and is 
contained in a commission which was for the entire 
dispensation of the Spirit. That the Lord did this 
miracle, and that his apostles did it, in one or two 
instances is not enough. Unless we can show some 
specific promise given to the church as a whole we 
are bound to concede that such works are not for 
us or for our age. Healing the sick, on the con- 
trary, rests on a distinct and specific promise to 

Miracles on external nature, like the turning of 
water into wine, and the multiplying of the loaves, 
belong exclusively to the Lord ; we do not find 
them perpetuated beyond his own ministry either 
in fact or in promise. Miracles of cure, on the 
contrary, being in the direct line of the Lord's 
redemptive work, abound in the ministry of the 
disciples as they do in that of the Lord, and have 
the clear pledge of scripture for their performance. 
The discrimination which Godet makes between 


miracles of healing and those performed on the 
outward world we believe to be strictly accurate. 
He says : " One consequence of the close connec* 
tion of soul and body is that when the spirit of 
man is in this way vivified by the power of God it 
can sometimes exert upon the body, and through 
it upon other bodies, an influence which is marvel- 
lous. This kind of miracle is therefore possible in 
every age of the Church's history ; it was possible in 
the middle ages, and is possible still. That which 
would seem to be no longer possible is the miracu- 
lous action of the divine power upon external 
nature. The age of such miracles seems to have 
closed with the work of revelation, of which they 
were but the auxiliaries." * 

As to miracles of prophecy, we see no reason to 
believe that they were strictly limited to apostolic 
times. We recall, indeed the one important text 
on this question, " But whether there be prophe- 
cies, they shall fail ; whether there be tongues they 
shall cease ; whether there be knowledge it shall 
vanish away ; for we know in part, and we proph- 
ecy in part, but when that which is perfect is come, 
then that which is in part shall be done away." 

•Defence of the Christian Fahh, p ao& 


Thus speaks the Spirit in the Epistle to the Cor- 

By this scripture some have attempted to shut 
up all miracles within the apostolic era as belong- 
ing to the things which were " in part," and there- 
fore destined to pass away. But, in the first place, 
let it be noted that it is only prophecies, tongues 
and knowledge that are specified, not healings. 
And we are to put no more within this limitation 
than the word of God has put there. And, in the 
second place, the bounds set to the exercise of 
these gifts is " when that which is pet feet is come" 
which scholarship has generally held to mean, when 
the Lord himself shall return to earth.* The gifts 
of tongues and of prophecy therefore do not seem 
to be confined within the first age of the church. 
We cannot forget, indeed that the utterances of 
prophecy and knowledge culminated and found their 
highest expression when the Canon of the New Tes- 
tament Scriptures was completed ; so that some 
thoughtful expositors have conjectured that this may 
have been the coming of that which is perfect so far 
as prophecy and knowledge are concerned. But in 

* i Cor. i j : to. " This verse shows by the emphatic then that the time when 
Jhc gifts shall cease is the end of this dispensation. The imperfect shall netceaee 
•SI! the perfect is brought in." —EMcott. 


either event this does not touch the gifts of heat 
ing. These cannot have culminated so long as 
sickness and demoniacal possession are unchecked 
in the world ; nor until the great Healer and Re- 
storer shall return from above. 

To sum up these observations then ; is it reason- 
able to conclude that the office of healing through 
faith, resting on the same apostolic example, and 
held by the same tenure of divine promise and 
precept as the other functions of the Christian 
ministry, was alone destined to pass away and 
disappear within a single generation? With the 
advance in power and knowledge which was to take 
place under the administration of the Holy Spirit 
after Pentecost, is it reasonable to believe that 
in this one particular instance there was designed 
to be a signal retarding of supernatural energy ? 
Is the Lord less likely to heal those who extend to 
him the touch of faith now that he is on the right 
hand of God,* having all power in heaven and 

•" Is the truce broke ? or cause we have 

A Mediatour now with thee, 
Dost thou therefore old treatyes wave, 
And by appeales from him decree ? 

Or is 't so, as some green heads say, 

That now all miracles must cease? 
Though thou hast promised they should stay 

The tokens of the Church, and peace." 

— U—nt VaqgiaM, 1654. 


earth given to him, than he was while on earth ? 
Is it reasonable to believe that the administration 
of the Comforter has changed since its first in- 
auguration, so that, while his mission and his offices 
were to continue till the end of this age, it is found 
that one of his ministries has entirely disappeared 
since the days of the apostles ? With sin and sick- 
ness still holding sway in the world, is it reasonable 
to consider the latter as entirely beyond the re- 
demptive work of Christ, while the former is so 
entirely met by that work, which was not the case 
in the beginning ? And, finally, until the harvest 
shall come, is it reasonable to suppose that we are 
to be left entirely without the first fruits of our 
redemption ? Until we can answer these questions, 
perhaps caution is becoming us, at least, in deny 
ing that miracles of healing are still wrought 



u Witnesses who are above suspicion leave no 
room for doubt that the miraculous powers of the 
apostolic age continued to operate at least into the 
third century." Such is the conclusion of Dr. 
Gerhard Uhlhorn ; and one who has read the work 
from which this opinion is taken will not doubt his 
eminent fitness to judge of such a question.* This 
concession is a very important one in its bearings 
on this whole subject. Prove that Miracles were 
wrought, for example, in the second century after 
Christ, and no reason can be thereafter urged why 
they might not be wrought in the nineteenth cen* 
tury. The apostolic age, it must be admitted, was a 
peculiarly favored one. So long as the men were 
still living who had seen the Lord, and had com. 
panied with him during his earthly ministry, there 
were possible secrets of power in their possession 
that a later generation might not have. It is 

* CnaAia of Christianity with Hcathcru«m, p. 169. 


easy to see, therefore, that this period might be 
especially distinguished by the gifts of the Spirit. 

And yet the Saviour seems to be careful to teaoh 
that there would be an augmenting rather than a 
diminishing of supernatural energy after his de- 
parture. " But ye shall receive power after that 
the Holy Ghost is come upon you." "Verily, 
verily I say unto you, He that believeth on me the 
vvorks that I do shall he do also, and greater 
works than these shall he do ; because I go to my 
Father." * He made no provision for the arrest of, 
the stream of divine manifestations which he had 
started, either in the next age or in a subsequent 
age. But, conceding certain marked advantages 
possessed by the immediate followers of Christ, if 
we find in history that there is no abrupt termina- 
tion of miracles with the expiration of the apos- 
tolic age, then we must begin to raise the question 
why there should be any termination at all, so 
long as the Church remains, and the ministry of 
the Spirit is perpetuated ? 

Now, when we turn to the writings of the 
Christian Fathers, as they are called, we find 
the testimonies abundant to the continuance of 

* Acts 1-9. John 14 : 12. 


the miraculous powers. We will quote only a few 

as specimens from a large number, which may be 

readily collated by any one who will take the 

pains. Justin Martyr says : 

" For numberless demoniacs throughout the 
whole world and in your city, many of our Christ- 
ian men, exorcising them m the name of Jesus 
Christ, who was crucified under Pontias Pilate, 
have healed, and do heal, rendering helpless and 
driving the possessing devils out of the men, 
though they could not be cured by all the other 
exorcists and those who used incantations and 
drugs." * 

Irenaeus says : 

"Wherefore also those who are in truth the 
disciples receiving grace from him do in his name 
perform miracles so as to promote the welfare of 
others, according to the gift which each has re- 
ceived from him." 

Then after enumerating the various gifts he con 

tinues : 

" Others still heal the sick by laying their hands 
upon them, and they are made whole." t 

Tertullian says : 

" For the clerk of one of them who was liable 
to be thrown upon the ground by an evil spirit 
was set free from his affliction, as was also the 
relative of another, and the little boy of a third. 

* Apol. ii. Chap. 6. 
t Adv. Hacr Book u : 4. 


And how many men of rank, to say nothing of the 
common people, have been delivered from devils 
and healed of disease?* 

Origen says : 

"And some give evidence of their having re- 
ceived through their faith a marvellous power by 
the cures which they perform, invoking no other 
name over those who need their help than that of 
the God of all things and of Jesus, along with a 
mention of his history. For by these means we 
too have seen many persons freed from grievous 
calamities and from distractions of mind and mad- 
ness, and countless other ills which could be cured 
neither by men or devils, "f 

Clement says, in giving directions for visiting 

the sick and afflicted : 

" Let them, therefore, with fasting and prayer, 
make their intercessions, and not with the well 
arranged and fitly ordered words of learning, but 
as men who liave received the gift of healing con- 
fidently, to the glory of God."% 

The weight of these and like testimonies is so 

generally acknowledged by Church historians that 

it seems little less than hardihood for scholars to 

go on repeating that well worn phrase " the age 

of miracles ended with the apostles." Mesheim, 

speaking of the fourth century, says : 

* Ad. Scap. iv ; 4. 

* Contra Celsum B. ill. Chap. 14. t Epis. C. xu. 


" But I cannot on the other hand assent to the 
opinion of those who maintain that in this century 
miracles had entirely ceased." * 

Dr. Waterland says : " The miraculous gifts 
continued through the third century, at least." f 

Dodwell declares that " though they generally 
ceased with the third century, there are several 
strongly attested cases in the fourth." 

Dr. Marshall, the translator of Cyprian, says 
" there are successive evidences of them down to 
the age of Constantine." 

" The age of Constantine" % is a significant date at 
which to fix the termination of miracles. Foralmost 
all Church historians hold that there was a period 
when the simpler and purer forms of supernatural 
manifestation ceased to be generally recognized, or 
were supplanted by the gross and spurious type 
which characterize the Church of the middle ages. 
And th«era of Constantine's conversion confessedly 

• Cent iv. 

t See list of citation* in " Crtaiitn and Redemption" London, 1877. P. 50. 

% " With regard to the continuance of miracles after the apostolic age, we have 
testimonies, not only from TerttiMian and Origen, who tell us that many in their 
time wore convinced, againut their will, of the truths of Christianity by miraculous 
visions, but, also, much later from Theodore of Mopsueste (429). The latter 
says : Many heathen amongst us air being healed by Chrirtians from whatever 
sickness they have, so abundant are miracles in our midst." Christlieb : Modem 
Woubt, p. Til. 


marks a decided transition from a purer to a more 
degenerate and worldly Christianity. From this 
period on, we find the Church ceasing to depend 
wholly on the Lord in heaven, and to rest in the 
patronage and support of earthly rulers ; and ceasing 
to look ever for the coming and Kingdom of Christ 
as the consummation of her hopes, and to exult 
in her present triumph and worldly splendor. 
Many of her preachers made bold to declare that 
the Kingdom had come, and that the prophetic 
word, " He shall have dominion from sea to sea, 
and from the river to the ends of the earth " had 
been fulfilled.* 

If now, as we have indicated elsewhere, the 
miracles were signs of the sole kingship of the 
living and exalted Christ, and pledges of his com- 
ing again to subdue all things to himself, it is not 
strange that as the substance of these truths 
faded from mens minds, their sign should have 
gradually disappeared also. At all events it is 
very significant that precisely the same period, the 
first three centuries, is that generally named by 
historians as the era in which that apostolic hope, 
" the glorious appearing of the great God and our 

* Eusebius l. x. 3, 4. 


Saviour, Jesus Christ," and that apostolic faith, 
" they shall lay hands on the sick and they shall 
recover," remained in general exercise. It is not 
altogether strange, therefore, that when the Church 
forgot that " her citizenship is in heaven," and 
began to establish herself in luxury and splendor 
on earth, she should cease to exhibit the super- 
natural gifts of heaven. And there is a grim 
irony in the fact, that after death and the grave 
had gradually become the goal of the Christian's 
hope, instead of the personal coming of Christ, 
then we should begin to find miracles of healing 
alleged by means of contact with the bones of 
dead saints and martyrs, instead of miracles of 
healing through the prayer of faith offered to the 
living Christ. Such is the change introduced by 
the age of Constantine.* 

But now comes a most suggestive fact ; that 
whenever we find a revival of primitive faith and 
apostolic simplicity there we find a profession of 
the chaste and evangelical miracles which character- 
ized the apostolic age. These attend the cradle of 

• " Ah, Constantine ! of how much ill was cause, 
Not thy conversion, but those rich domains 
That the first wealth v pope received of thee." 

— DanU. 


every spiritual reformation, as they did the birth 

of the Church herself. Waldenses, Moravians, 

Huguenots, Covenanters, Friends, Baptists and 

Methodists all have their record of them. 

Hear the following frank and simple confession of 

the Waldenses, that people who for so many ages 

kept the virgin's lamp trimmed and burning amid 

the gross darkness with which the Papal harlot had 

overspread the people : 

" Therefore, concerning this anointing of the 
sick, we hold it as an article of faith, and profess 
sincerely from the heart that sick persons, when 
they ask it, may lawfully be anointed with the 
anointing oil by one who joins with them in pray- 
ing that it may be efficacious to the healing of the 
body according to the design and end and effect 
mentioned by the apostles ; and we profess that 
such an anointing performed according to the 
apostolic design and practice will be healing and 

Then after condemning extreme unction, that 

sacrament of the Papists wherein an ordinance for 

life is perverted into an ordinance for death, they 

say further : 

" Albeit we confess that the anointing of the 
sick performed according to the design, end and 
purpose of the apostles, and according to their 
practice and power of which St. Mark and James 

• Johannis Lukawitz Waldensis Confessio 1431. See also Waldensia, p. 25. 


make mention, is lawful ; and if any priest possess 
ing the grace of healings had so anointed the sick 
md they have recovered we would exhort all that 
when they are really ill they omit not to receive 
that ordinance at their hands, and in no way 
despise it, because despisers of that or of other 
ordinances, so far as they are ordained by Christ, 
are to be punished and corrected, according to the 
rules of the evangelical law." 

The Moravians, or United Brethren as they are 
otherwise called, have obtained a good report 
among all Christians for their simple piety, and 
especially for their fervent missionary zeal. They 
have not only been earnest reformers, but reform- 
ers of reformers ; so that such men as Wesley, 
catching their light and getting kindled by it, have 
brought a new revival to the backslidden children 
of the Reformation. On principles already referred 
to, we might expect to find their missionary zeal 
signalized by supernatural tokens. And so it has 
been, if we may believe what seems to be trust- 
worthy records. In what is regarded as a very 
faithful history of the United Brethren, that of 
Rev. A. Bost, the author gives his own view of the 
continuance of the apostolic gifts in a very clear 
manner, and records for us with equal clearness 
the sentiments of the Moravians. He says : 

" We are, indeed, well aware that, so far from its 


being possible to prove by scripture, or by experi- 
ence, that visions and dreams, the gift of miracles, 
healings and other extraordinary gifts, have abso- 
lutely ceased in Christendom since the apostolic 
times, it is on the contrary proved, both by facts 
and by scripture, that there may always be these 
gifts where there is faith, and that they will never 
be entirely detached from it. We need only take 
care to discern the true from the false, and to dis- 
tinguish from miracles proceeding from the Holy 
Ghost, lying miracles, or those which without be* 
ing so decidedly of the devil do not so decidedly 
indicate the presence of the Lord." * 

In this book are several statements of the 

Brethren concerning the character and discipline 

of their churches. The famous Zinzendorf writes 

as follows : 

" To believe against hope is the root of the gift 
of miracles ; and I owe this testimony to our be- 
loved Church, that apostolic powers are there 
manifested. We have had undeniable proofs there- 
of in the unequivocal discovery of things, persons, 
and circumstances, which could not humanly have 
bee a discovered, in the healing of maladies in 
themselves incurable, such as cancers, consumptions, 
when the patient was in the agonies of death, &c, 
all by means of prayer, or of a single word." f 

Speaking of the year 1730, he says : 

" At this juncture various supernatural gifts 

* Bost 1, p. 17 
t Idem, p. hi. 


were manifested in the Churek, and miraculous 
cures were wrought. The brethren and sisters 
believed what the Saviour had said respecting the 
efficacy of prayer ; and when any object strongly 
interested them they used to speak to him about 
it, and to trust in him as capable of all good ; then 
it was done unto them according to their faith. 
The count (Zinzendorf) rejoiced at it with all his 
heart, and silently praised the Saviour who thus 
willingly condescended to what is poor and little. 
In this freedom of the brethren towards our Sav- 
iour, Jesus Christ, he recognized a fruit of the 
Spirit, concerning which they ought on no account 
to make themselves uneasy, whoever it might be, 
but rather to respect him. At the same time he did 
not wish the brethren and sisters to make too 
much noise about these matters, and regard them 
as extraordinary but when, for example, a brother 
was cured of disease, even of the worst kind, by a 
single word or by some prayer, he viewed this as a 
very simple matter, calling to mind, ever that say- 
ing of scripture, that signs were not for those who 
believed, but for those who believed not." * 

Thus we have the sentiment of the Moravians 
on the subject of Miracles very distinctly indicated. 
And the statements quite accord with their simple 
faith and filial confidence in the Lord, as indicated 
in other things. 

The following furnishes a very beautiful glimpse 
into the actual miraculous experiences above re 
ferred to : 


"Jean de Wattcville had a childlike confidence 
in our Saviour's promise to hear his children's pray- 
ers. Of this he often had experience. One ex- 
ample we will here offer : — A married sister be- 
came extremely ill at Hernnhut. The physician 
had given up all hopes, and her husband was 
plunged in grief. Watteville visited the patient, 
found her joyfully expecting her removal, and took 
his leave, after having encouraged her in this happy 
frame. It was at that time still the custom of 
unmarried brethren, on Sunday evening, to go 
about singing hymns before the brethren's houses, 
with an instrumental accompaniment. Watteville 
made them sing some appropriate hymns under 
the window of the sick sister, at the same time 
praying in his heart to the Lord that he would be 
pleased, if he thought good, to restore her to 
health. He conceived a hope of this so full of 
sweetness and faith that he sang with confidence 
these lines : 

' Sacred Cross, oh sacred Cross ! 

Where my Saviour died for me, 
From my soul, redeemed from loss, 

Bursts a flame of love to thee. 

When I reach my dying hour 

Only let them speak thy name ; 
By its all prevailing power 

Back my voice returns again.' 

What was the astonishment of those who sur- 
rounded the bed of this dying sister when they 
saw her sit up, and join with a tone of animation 
in singing the last line : 

4 Back my voice returns again.* 

To his great amazement and delight he found 


her, on ascending to her chamber, quite well. She 
recovered perfectly, and not till thirty-five years 
after did he attend her earthly tabernacle to its 
final resting place." 

And now we come to the testimony of that most 
illustrious band of Christian worthies, the Scotch 
Covenanters. Illustrious, we said, and yet with | 
light altogether ancient, apostolic and strange to 
our modern age. Let one read that book of thril- 
ling religious adventure and heroic faith, " The 
Scots Worthies" and he will almost seem to be 
perusing the acts of the apostles reacted. Such 
sterling fortitude ; such mighty prayers ; such con 
quests of preaching and intercession ! Howie, its 
author, seems to have had in mind especially, in 
writing it, the rebuke it would bring to a later, 
faithless and degenerate age, by showing, as he 
says in his preface, "how at the peril of their 
lives they brought Christ into our hands," and 
" how quickly their offspring are gone out of the 
way piping and dancing after a golden calf." Nor 
did he think such a luxurious and unbelieving gen- 
eration would be able to credit these mighty deeds 
of their fathers. For he continues : " Some may 
be ready to object that many things related in this 
collection smell too much of enthusiasm ; and that 


other things are beyond all credit. But these we 
must suppose t< be either quite ignorant of what 
the Lord did for our forefathers in former times, 
or else, in a great measure, destitute of the like 
gracious influences of the Spirit by which they 
were actuated and sustained." If we are inclined 
to discredit the marvels of divine interposition 
recorded in this book, we have to remember that 
the men who relate them, and of whom they are 
related, are the historic characters of the Scottish 
Kirk; Knox, Wishart, Livingston, Welch, Baillie, 
?eden and Craig. We never tire of repeating the 
great and holy things which these men did in other 
fields of spiritual service. Who has not heard how 
John Livingston preached with such extraordinary 
demonstration of the Spirit that five hundred souls 
were quickened or converted under a single ser- 
mon ? And what Christian has not had his spirit- 
ual indolence rebuked by reading of John Welch, 
nsing many times in the night to plead for his 
fiock, and spending seven and eight hours a day in 
Gethsemane intercessions for the Church and for 
lost souls. These things we have read and repeat- 
ed without incredulity. But how few have read 
or dared to repeat the story of the same John Welch 


praying over the body of a young man, who, after a 
long wasting sickness, " has closed his eyes and 
expired to the apprehension of all spectators ; " 
how, in spite of the remonstrance of friends, he 
held on for three hours, twelve hours, twenty-five, 
thirty-six, forty-eight hours, and when at last it was 
insisted that the " cold dead " body should be 
borne out to burial, how he begged for an hour 
more, and how, at the end of that time, he " called 
upon his friends and showed them the dead young 
man restored to life again, to their great astonish- 
ment." All this is told with the utmost detail in 
the book of " Scots Worthies." If we are startled 
to ask in amazement — as who will not be — " Are 
such things possible in modern times ? " we might 
better begin with the question, has such praying 
and resistless importunity with God ever been 
heard of in modern times? If we can get a 
miraculous faith the miraculous works will be easy 
enough to credit. Yet this is a specimen of the 
men who compose this extraordinary group of 
Christian heroes. 

The wonders recorded of them are of every 
kind — marvels of courage, marvels of faith, mar- 
vels of martyrdom, and marvels of prophetic fore* 


sight. Theirs was a faith born and nourished of 

the bitterest persecution. But if, according to the 
saying of their biographer, they were "followed 
by the prophet's shadow, the hatred of wicked 
men," it is equally true that they were crowned 
with the apostle's halo, the power of the Holy 

Here we read of the holy Robert Bruce, of 
whom the beautiful incident is told, that once being 
late in appearing in his pulpit a messenger was sent 
for him who reported : " I think he will not come 
to-day, for I overheard him say to another : 'I protest 
I will not go unless thou goest with me* Howbeit, 
in a little time he came, accompanied by no man 
but full of the blessing of Christ ; for his speech 
was with much evidence and demonstration of the 
Spirit." Of this man, mighty in pulpit prayers, it 
is affirmed that "persons distracted, and those 
who were past recovery with falling sickness, were 
brought to him and were, after prayer by him on 
their behalf, fully restored from their malady."* 
Also we read of Patrick Simpson, whose insane 
wife, from raving and blaspheming as with demon- 
iacal possession, was so wonderfully healed by his 


importunate prayers that the event was found thus 
gratefully recorded upon some of the books of his 
library : " Remember, O my soul, and never forget 
the 16th of August, 1601, what consolation the 
Lord gave thee, and how he performed what he 
spoke according to Zechariah, 'is not this a brand 
tlucked oU of the fire* " * 

We give verbatim one incident of healing as 
recorded in this book, admonishing the reader that 
this story, as well as several others, has been some- 
what softened in later editions of the work, with 
the avowed purpose of making it accord more ex- 
actly with modern religious sentiments. It is from 
the life of John Scrimgeour, minister of Kinghorn 
in Fife, and " an eminent wrestler with God : " 

"Mr. Scrimgeour had several friends and chil- 
dren taken away by death : and his only daughter 
who at that time survived, and whom he dearly 
loved, being seized with the King's evil, by which 
she was reduced to the point of death, so that he 
was called up to see her die ; and finding her in 
this condition he went out into the fields, (as he 
himself told) in the night-time in great grief and 
anxiety, and began to expostulate with the Lord, 
with such expressions as for all the world, he durst 
not again uttvf. In a fit of displeasure he said — 
'thou O Lord know^st that I have Leen serving 
thee in the uprightness of my heart according t" 


my power and measure : nor have I stood in awe 
to declare thy mind even unto the greatest in the 
time ; and thou seest that I take pleasure in this 
child. O that I could obtain such a thing at thy 
hand as to spare her ! ' and being in great agony of 
spirit at last it was said to him from the Lord — 
1 1 have heard thee at this time, but use not the 
like boldness in time coming for such particulais.' 
When he came home the child was recovered, 
and sitting up in the bed took some meat : and 
when he looked on her arm it was perfectly 

Now when we reflect that these things are re- 
corded by the pen of some of the holiest men the 
church of God has ever seen : and recorded too as 
the experiences of their own ministry of faith and 
prayer, the fact must at least furnish food for re- 
flection to those who continue to assert with such 
confident assurance that the age of miracles is 
past. Past it may be indeed, if the age of faith is 
past. For that we conceive, to be the real ques- 
tion. It is not geography or chronology that de- 
termines the boundary lines of the supernatural. 
It is apostolic men that make an apostolic age, not 
a certain date of Anno Domini. We are forever 
thinking to turn back the shadow certain degree? 
upon the dial, to bring again the age of miracles 

* Edinburgh Ed. 1812, p. 89, #>. 


forgetting that he who is " without variableness or 
the shadow of turning" has said, "if thou canst 
believe" — not if thou wast born in Palestine and 
within the early limits of the first Christian cen- 
tury — "all things are possible to him that believeth." 
When by the stress of violent persecution or by 
the sore discipline of reproach and rejection by 
the world the old faith is revived, then we catch 
glimpses once more of the apostolic age. And 
such perhaps beyond all others in modern times 
was the age of the Covenanters. 

No one can read this stirring narrative of their 
sufferings and triumphs, their martyrdoms and mira- 
cles without a profound spiritual quickening. There 
is little danger withal of the book ministering to 
fanaticism, for if any one should be inspired by it 
with an ambition to be a miracle-worker he will 
meet the challenge on every page — " Are ye able 
to drink the cup that I drink of, and to be bap- 
tized with the baptism that I am baptized with ?" 

If we come to the Huguenots, those faithful 
followers of the Lamb, among generations that were 
so greedily and wantonly following the Dragon, we 
get glimpses of the same wonderful things. In 
the story of their suffering and obedience to the 


faith in the mountains of Cevennes whither they 
had fled from their pursuers upon the revocation of 
the edict of Nantz, we hear constant mention of 
the exercise of miraculous gifts. There were 
divine healings and extraordinary actings of the 
Spirit in quickening and inspiration. They who in 
their exile carried their mechanical arts and inven- 
tions into England to the great blessing of the 
nation, carried here and there the lost arts of su- 
pernatural healing to the wonder of the church of 

Among the early Friends, as is well known the 
same manifestations were constantly reported. 
Whatever we may think of the general teaching of 
this sect, no one can read the Journal of George 
Fox without feeling that he was a devoted man of 
God, doing a wholesome work of quickening and 
rebuke in a time of great spiritual deadness and 
conformity to the world. His quaint prayer that 
he " might be baptized into a sense of all conditions" 
seems to have been literally fulfilled. Like a latter 
day apostle he went among all ranks, rebuking the 
gay and worldly, turning away the wrath of those 
at enmity, visiting the sick and ministering to the 

* Morning Watch, B. iv : p. 383. 


prisoner. A worthy model is he for any minister, 
in any age who would learn how to labor " in sea- 
son out of season" for the Lord. 

Not only in his teaching but especially in his 
active service does he recognize the continuous 
operation of the Spirit in miraculous ministries. 
He records these manifestations without comment 
as though they were as much a matter of course 
as conversion or regeneration. 

In a record of evangelizing in Twy-cross in Lin 

colnshire, England, he says: — 

" Now there was in that town a great man thai 
had long lain sick and was given over by the phy- 
sicians : and some friends in that town desired me 
to go and see him, and I went up to him in his 
chamber and spoke the word of life to him and was 
moved to pray for him, and the Lord was entreated 
and restored him to health."* 

While preaching in Hertfordshire, they told him 

of a sick woman and requested him to go to her 

help. He says : — 

"John Rush of Bedfordshire went along with me 
to visit her, and when we came in, there were many 
people in the house that were tender about her : 
and they told me she was not a woman for this 
world, but if I had anything to comfort her con- 
cerning the world to come I might speak to her. 
So I was moved of the Lord to speak to her, and 

• Journal B. i : p. ill. 


the Lord raised her up again to the astonishment 
of the town and country. '* 

This book abounds in such instances, told with- 
out ostentation or enlargement, but almost always 
alluded to as " Miracles." 

In the earlier days of the Baptists, days of sim- 
plicity and purity, we meet with similar illustrations 
of miraculous faith and manifestation. As usual 
it was in times of great straits, when the prison 
doors were shut upon the persecuted flock, that 
the windows of heaven were opened in miraculous 

Vavasor Powell, "the morning star of the Welch 
Baptists" as he has been named, has left a clear 
affidavit to his faith and practice on the subject 
we are considering. He was a man of the same 
fibre as the Covenanters ; endued with such power 
of the Spirit that extraordinary revivals followed 
his preaching wherever he went. He was also a 
bitter sufferer for the faith having in the course of 
his life lain in thirteen different prisons for his 
testimony for Christ. 

Besides the uncommon blessing which attended 
his preaching it is recorded that "many persons 

* Id. vol. t : p. a8i. 


were recovered from dangerous sickness through 
the prayer of faith which he offered." He took 
the promise in James vth, literally, as shown in 
the story of his own recovery, and especially as de- 
clared in the following article of his creed — " Vis- 
iting the sick and for the elders to anoint them in 
the name of the Lord is a gospel ordinance and not 
repealed."* That his creed was to some extent 
adopted by the English Baptists appears from the 
account given in the same book, of the ceremony 
of anointing and prayer as performed for a blind 
woman at Aldgate in London. Rev. Hansard 
Knollys, and Rev. Henry Jessey, eminent names 
in the early ministry of the body, united with oth- 
ers in the service, prayer being offered and the 
words pronounced, " the Lord Jesus restore thee 
thy sight."! 

Among the Methodists we find references here 
and there to the appearance of miraculous mani- 
festations in the churches. There is one very 
striking instance which is recorded of Ann Mather, 
daughter of Joseph Benson the Methodist Com- 
mentator, the story being given in full by the fa 

• Ivuny's History of the Baptists, pp. J33. 
t Idem, p. 3jj. 


ther in his journal. She had been afflicted with 

lameness in the feet, for some years having no use 

of her limbs, and not for a long time having walked 

a step. We give the narrative in the words of 

Mr. Benson's Journal abridging in unimportant 

details : — 

"Oct. 4th. This evening the Lord has shown 
us an extraordinary instance of his love and power. 
My dear Ann yet remained without any use of 
either her limbs and indeed without the least feel- 
ing of them, or ability to walk a step, or lay the 
\east weight upon them, nor had she any use of 
them for upward of twelve months. I was very 
much afraid that the sinews would be contracted, 
and that she would lose the use of them forever. 
We prayed however, incessantly, that this might 
not be the case ; but that it would please the Lord, 
for the sake of her three little children, to restore 

This day a part of my family and some of my 
pious friends went to take tea at her house ; Mr. 
Mather bringing her down in his arms into the 
dining-room. After tea I spoke of the certainty 
of God's hearing the prayer of his faithful people, 
and repeated many of his promises to that pur- 
pose. I also enlarged on Christ's being the same 
yesterday, to-day, and forever, and still both able 
and willing to give relief to his afflicted people : 
that though he had doubtless done many of his 
miracles of healing chiefly to prove himself to be 
the Messiah, yet that he did not do them for that end 
only, but also to grant relief to human misery, out 


of his great compassion for suffering mankind; 
and that not a few of his other miracles of mercy 
he had wrought principally or only for this latter 
purpose, and that he was still full of compassion 
for the miserable. I then said, "Ann, before we 
go to prayer, we will sing the Hymn which was 
full of consolation to your mother," and I gave out 
the words of the hymn beginning : — 

" Thy arm, Lord, is not shortened now, 
It wants not now the power to save ; 
Still present with thy people, thou, etc*' 

After singing, we then kneeled down to pray, 
and Ann took her infant child to give it the breast, 
that it might not disturb us with crying while we 
were engaged in prayer. I prayed first, and then 
Mr. McDonald ; all the company joining fer- 
vently in our supplications. We pleaded in prayer 
the Lord's promises, and especially that he has 
said that whatever two or three of his people 
should agree to ask, it should be done for them. 
Matt, xvii: 19. Immediately on our rising from 
our knees, Ann beckoned to the nurse to take the 
child, and then instantly rose up, and said, " I can 
walk, I feel I can ; and proceeded half over the 
room : when her husband, afraid she should fall, 
stepped to her, saying, " my dear Ann, what are 
you about ? " 

She put him off with her hands, saying, " I don't 
need you : I can walk alone," and then walked 
three times over the floor ; after which, going to 
a corner, she knelt down and said, "Oh let us give 
God thanks ! " we kneeled down, and gave thanks ; 
Ann continuing on her knees all the time, at least 
twenty minutes ; she then came to me, and with a 
flood of tears threw her arms about my neck, 


and then did the same first to one of her sisters, 
and to the other, and afterwards to Mrs. Dicken- 
son; every one in the room shedding tears of 
gratitude and joy. She then desired her husband's 
brother to come up stairs ; and when he entered 
the room, she cried out, " Adam, I can walk ; " and 
to show him that she could, immediately walked 
over the floor, and back again. 

It was, indeed, the most affecting scene I ever 
witnessed in my life. She afterward, without any 
help, walked up stairs into her lodging room, and 
with her husband kneeling down, joined in prayer 
and praise. 

In conversation with her afterward, I learned 
from her the following particulars: — that when 
she was brought into the dining-rcom a little stool 
was put under her feet, but which she felt no more 
than if her feet had been dead. While we were 
singing the hymn, she conceived faith that the 
Lord would heal her ; began to feel the stool, and 
pushed it away ; then set her feet on the floor, 
and felt that; while we prayed she felt a persuasion 
she could walk, and felt inclined to rise up with 
the child in her arms ; but thinking to do that 
would be thought rash, she delayed till we had 
done praying, and then immediately rose up, and 
walked as above related." 

Among the persons present who witnessed this 
Remarkable scene was Rev. James McDonald, who 
followed Mr. Benson in prayer and was afterwards 
his biographer, and in making reference to this won- 
derful healing he says : " All believed that the 
power to walk, which she received in an instant 


was communicated by an immediate act of omnip- 
otence." The account was also published in the 
London Methodist Magazine, from which this is 

We have thus set before us as a mass of evidence 
for the continuance of miraculous interventions 
which few, we imagine, would wish to condemn as 
utterly false. Whatever deduction or allowance 
any may wish to make, there remains too solid a 
substratum of well-proven fact to be easily set 
aside. Untimely — born out of due season, is the 
objection which will at once be urged indeed. 
That is to say, put the same facts and the same 
witnesses back into the age of the apostles and 
5iey can be easily enough credited, but not as 
speaking for modern times. But some believe that 
the church like the tree of life ** whose leaves are 
for the healing of the nations," not only bears 
twelve manner of fruits but "yields her fruit every 
month." "All supernatural manifestations deter- 
mined with apostolic times and apostolic men " — 
so I read from a learned author, as I glanced for a 
moment from the page which I was writing. Then 
casting another glance through my window I saw 
a tree just before me crowned with a fresh coat of 


green leaves and white blossoms. Strange sight 
to witness in the month of October! Yet such 
was the season in which it came to pass. For it 
had happened that the canker worms had strip- 
ped the tree of all its foliage and left it bare and 
naked ; but because there was life in its veins and 
the sap had not yet returned downward, it must 
find expression, and so even in autumn it had 
leaved and blossomed. 

Alas that the church should ever have been 
shorn of her primitive beauty ! But so it was : 
apostacy succeeding to purity, and papacy to apos- 
tacy, and corruption to papacy, and infidelity to 
corruption, till it was literally as the prophet has 
written : " That which the palmer-worm hath left 
hath the locust eaten ; and that which the locust 
hath left, hath the canker-worm eaten, and that 
which the canker-worm hath left, hath the cater- 
pillar eaten."* 

But because there is life still remaining in the 
church, because the sap has not utterly departed 
from the tree of God, fresh shoots are constantly 
putting out bearing the leaves and blossoms of 
primitive piety, and not less certainly the rich 


fruits of miraculous blessing. And so we are per 
suaded it shall be until the end. For it belongs to 
the Church as the body of Christ to do the works 
of Christ and it belongs to believers as the habi 
tation of the Spirit to manifest the gifts and fruits 
of the Spirit. 


Admitting, with the historians, that miracles 
ceased to be recognized in the Church, as a whole, 
after the third century, there have still continued 
to be witnesses here and there to their occurrence 
through all the ages. We call to the stand several 
theologians, who have not only defended the doc- 
trine of the continuance of miracles, but have 
cited illustrations of what they regarded as credi- 
ble instances in support of their theory. 

Augustine, it has been claimed, denied the exist- 
ence of miraculous interpositions in his day ; and he 
certainly said some things that give occasion for that 
opinion. But, on the other hand, he has left on 
record what cannot but be regarded as the strong- 
est testimony to their continuance in his genera- 
tion. Archbishop Trench considers that the true 
solution of this seeming contradiction is, that he 
held to their cessation in his earlier writings, and, 
changing his opinion, maintained their continu- 


ance in his later.* If this be so, we must take 
the last opinion as his true conviction, not that 
which he had retracted. How decidedly, indeed, 
he commits himself to the doctrine of the perpet- 
uity of miracles will appear if we read the heading 
of one of the chapters of the De Civitate Dei : 
" Concerning the miracles which were wrought in 
order that the world might believe in Christ and 
which cease not to be wrought now that the world 
does believe." He lived in a time, indeed, when 
the shadows of superstition had already begun to 
creep over the Church, and the records of miracles 
which he makes are occasionally marred by some 
trace of such superstition : 

" For even now, he says, " miracles are wrought 
in his name whether by the sacraments, or by 
prayers, or at the tombs of the saints. But 
they are not proclaimed with the same renown, so 
as to be spread abroad with the former. For the 
sacred volume which was to be made known on all 
sides caused the former to be told everywhere and 
to hold their place in all men's memories ; but the 
latter are known of scarcely beyond the whole city 

•"In an early work, De Vera Religion* xxv. 47, he denies their continuance, 
while in hi* Retraction* he withdraw* thu statement, or limits it to such miracle* 
as those that accompanied baptism at the first. In De Civ. Dei. xxii. 8, he 
enumerates at great length miracles, chiefly those of healing, which he believed 
to have been wrought in his own time, and coming mora or lea* within bis own 
knowledge" Trench ; Note* 00 the Mirads«, p. •» 


or neighborhood where they may happen to be 
wrought." * 

In the same chapter he goes on to give instances 
to corroborate this assertion. We reproduce one, 
abridging the narrative, which is very extended, 
but retaining the essential points. The story is 
exceedingly natural and affecting. It is concern- 
ing Innocentius, a devout Christian, and a man of 
high rank in Carthage. He was suffering from a 
painful malady, and had submitted to several sur- 
gical operations for its removal, but without effect. 
An eminent surgeon, Alexandrinus by name, being 
summoned, declared that there was no hope except 
possibly in another operation. This was decided 
on, and several officers of the Church were with 
him the evening before his trial, of whom he beg. 
ged that they would be present the next day at 
what he feared would be his death. "Among 
those present," says Augustine, "was Aurelius, 
now the only surviver and a bishop : a man ever to 
be mentioned with the greatest regard and honor, 
with whom, in calling to mind the wonderful works 
of God, I have often conversed on the occurrence, 
and I find that he retains the fullest recollection of 

Works v., p. *9? 


what I now relate," The rest we give in the 

words of Augustine : 

" We then went to prayer ; and, while we were 
kneeling and prostrating ourselves, as on other 
occasions, he also prostrated himself, as if some 
wie had forcibly thrust him down, and began to 
pray: in what manner, with what earnestness, 
with what emotion, with what a flood of tears, 
with what agitation of his whole body, I might 
almost say with what suspension of his respiration, 
by his groans and sobs, who shall attempt to 
describe ? Whether the rest of the party were so 
little affected as to be able to pray I knew not. 
For my part I could not. This, alone, inwardly 
and briefly, I said : ' Lord, what prayers of thine 
own children wilt thou ever grant if thou grant not 
these f ' For nothing seemed more possible but 
that he should die praying. We arose, and, after 
the benediction by the bishop, left him, but not 
till he had besought them to be with him in the 
morning, nor till they had exhorted him to calm- 
ness. The dreaded day arrived, and the servants 
of God attended as they had promised. The 
medical men made their appearance ; all things 
required for such an occasion are got ready, and, 
amidst the terror and suspense of all present, the 
dreadful instruments are brought out. In the 
meantime, while those of the bystanders whose 
authority was the greatest, endeavored to support 
the courage of the patient by words of comfort, 
he is placed in a convenient position for the oper- 
ation, the dressings are opened, the seat of the 
disease is exposed, the surgeon inspects it, and 
tries to find the part to be operated upon with his 


instrument in his hand. He first looks for it, then 
examines by the touch ; in a word, he makes every 
possible trial, and finds the place perfectly healed. 
The gladness, the praise, the thanksgiving to a com- 
passionate and all powerful God, which, with min- 
gled joy and tears, now burst from the lips of all 
present, cannot be told by me. The scene may 
more easily be imagined than described." 

It will be seen, on careful reading, that aside 
from the testimony of the writer himself, there is 
everything in this story to indicate the genuine- 
ness and authenticity of the miracle. Its detailed 
narration shows how unquestionably the writer 
believes in healing through the prayer of faith. 

Martin Luther, " whose prose is a half battle," 
would be likely to speak strongly on this subject 
if he spoke at all. Martin Luther, whose prayers 
were victorious battles, so that they who knew 
him were wont to speak of him as " the man who 
can have whatever he wishes of God," would be 
likely to plead efficaciously in this field if he en- 
tered it at all. And so he did. The testimony of 
Luther's prayers for the healing of the body are 
among the strongest of any on record in modern 
times. He has been quoted, indeed, as disparag- 
ing miracles. And the explanation of this fact 


is perfectly easy for those who have investigated 
his real opinions. Like the other reformers — like 
Huss and Latimer, for example, he revolted vio- 
lently from the impudent Romish miracles which 
in his day put forth their claims on every side. 
This frequently led him to speak in very contempt- 
uous terms of modern signs and wonder-working. 
And it is not strange that some, lighting on these 
utterances, should have concluded that he denied 
all supernatural interventions in modern times. 
But if we turn from Luther the controversialist to 
Luther the pastor, we find a man who believed and 
spoke with all the vehemence of his Saxon heart 
on the side of present miracles. " How often has 
it happened and still does," he says, " that devils 
have been driven out in the name of Christ, also 
by calling on his name and prayer that the sick 
have been healed ? " And he suited his action to 
his words on this point ; for when they brought him 
a girl saying that she was possessed with a devil 
Luther laid his hand on her head, appealed to the 
Lord's promise : " He that believeth on me the 
works I do shall he do also, and greater works than 
these shall he do," and then prayed to God, with 
the rest of the ministers of the Church, that, fa 


Christ's sake, he would cast the devil out of this 
girl.* Perfect recovery is recorded in this instance 
as well as in several others where he prayed for 
the sick. 

The most notable instance is that of Philip 
Melancthon. An account of this recovery, which 
seems to be trustworthy, is given by the historian 
to whom we have just referred. Melancthon had 
fallen ill on a journey, and a messenger had been 
despatched to Luther. The story continues : 

" Luther arrived and found Philip about to give 
up the ghost. His eyes were set ; his conscious- 
ness was almost gone ; his speech had failed, and 
also his hearing ; his face had fallen ; he knew no 
one, and had ceased to take either solids or liquids. 
At this spectacle Luther is filled with the utmost 
consternation, and turning to his fellow travellers 
says : ' Blessed Lord, how has the devil spoiled me 
of this instrument ! ' Then turning away towards 
the window he called most devoutly on God." 

Then follows the substance of Luther's prayer : 

" He beseeches God to forbear, saying that he 
has struck work in order to urge upon him in sup- 
plication, with all the promises he can repeat from 
scripture : that he must hear and answer now if 
he would ever have the petitioner trust in him 

Seckendorf's History of Lutheranism, B. nt. p. 133. 


The narrative goes on : 

" After this, taking the hand of Philip, and well 
knowing what was the anxiety of his heart and 
conscience, he said * Be of good courage, Philip, 
thou shalt not die. Though God wanted not good 
reason to slay thee, yet he willeth not the death of 
a sinner, but that he may be converted and live. 
Wherefore, give not place to the spirit of grief, nor 
become the slayer of thyself, but trust in the Lord 
who is able to kill and to make alive.' While he 
uttered these things Philip began, as it were, to 
revive and to breathe, and gradually recovering 
his strength, is at last restored to health." 

If the reader should conclude hastily that this 
recovery may be accounted for on entirely natural 
principles, we have to remind him that the convic- 
tion of both parties to the transaction was quite 

Melancthon writing to a friend says : 

" I should have been a dead man had I not been 
recalled from death itself by the coming of Luther. " 

Luther speaks in the same manner writing to 

friends : 

" Philip is very well after such an illness, for it 
was greater than I had supposed. I found him dead, 
but, by an evident miracle of God, he lives" 

Again, referring to his attendance at the diet, he 

says : 

" Toil and labor have been lost, and money spent 


to no purpose ; nevertheless, though I have suc- 
ceeded in nothing, yet If etched back Philip out of 
/fades, and intend to bring him now, rescued from 
the grave, home again with joy, &c." 

Such is the witness of the great reformer, and, 
if needful, it might be strengthened by reference 
to other remarkable instances of his power in 
prayer for the sick. 

That of Myconius is well known, who wrote 
of himself: "Raised up in the year 1541 by the 
mandates, prayers and letter of the reverend Father, 
Luther, from death." 

Luthardt furnishes this version of the event : 

"Myconius, the venerated superintendent of 
Gotha, was in the last stage of consumption, and 
already speechless. Luther wrote to him that he 
must not die : ' May God not let me hear so long 
as I live that you are dead, but cause you to 
survive me. I pray this earnestly, and will 
have it granted, and my will will be grant- 
ed herein, Amen.' 'I was so horrified,' said 
Myconius, afterwards, ' when I read what the good 
man had written, that it seemed to me as though 
I had heard Christ say, ' Lazarus come forth.' 
And from that time Myconius was, as it were, 
kept from the grave by the power of Luther's 
prayers, and did not die till after Luther's death." * 

The stout lion heart of the Reformer revolted 

against the grotesque miracles of Anti-christ ; but 

* Lathardt Moral Truths of Christianity, p. 2g& 


the beKeving heart of the Christian took the pro 

mises of God, and pleaded them and proved them ; 

and he gained what he regarded as the greatest oi 

conquests : that of having demonstrated scripture, 

so as to be able to say of one text in the Bible : 

" This I know for certain to be true** 

Richard Baxter will be listened to with especial 

deference on the question before us. He was so 

bold in uttering his convictions that Boyle said of 

him that " he feared no man's displeasure, nor 

hoped for any man's preferment;" and he was also 

so devout that Joseph Alleine was accustomed to 

preface his quotations from him with the words 

"As most divinely saith that man of God, holy 

Mr. Baxter." He wrote very decidedly in defence 

of present miraculous interpositions for God's 

faithful. Speaking of what he calls " eminent 

providences," he says : 

" I am persuaded that there is scarcely a godly 
experienced Christian that carefully observes and 
faithfully recordeth God's providence toward him 
but is able to bring forth some such experiment, 
and to shew you some strange and unusual mercies 
which may plainly discover an Almighty disposer, 
making good the promises of this scripture to 
his servants; some in desperate diseases of body; 
some in other apparent dangers delivered so sud- 
denly or so much against the common course of 


nature when all the best remedies have failed, that 
no second cause could have any hand in their 
deliverance." * 

After referring to some remarkable instances in 

the lives of the reformers he says ; 

" But why need I fetch examples so far off P or 
to recite the multitude of them which Church his 
tory doth afford us ? Is there ever a praying 
Christian here who knoweth what it is importu- 
nately to strive with God, and to plead his promises 
with him believingly, that cannot give in his ex- 
periences of most remarkable answers ? / know 
metis atheism and infidelity will never want some- 
what to say against the most eminent providences, 
though they were miracles themselves. That na- 
ture which is so ignorant of God, and at emnity 
with him, will not acknowledge him in his clear 
discoveries to the world, but will ascribe all to for- 
tune or nature, or some such idol, which, indeed, 
is nothing. But when mercies are granted in the 
very time of prayer, and that when to reason there 
is no hope, and that without the use or help of any 
other means or creature, yea, and perhaps many 
times over and over ; is not this as plain as if God 
from heaven should say to us, / am fulfilling to 
thee the true word of my promise in Christ my 
Sonne ? How many times have I known the pray ef 
of faith to save the sick when all physicians have 
given them up as dead." (Here Baxter subjoins a 
note to be given presently.) " It has been my own 
case more than once or twice or ten times, when 
means have all failed, and the highest art of rea- 

* Saint's Rest, Part 11. chap. vi. Sec. V. 


son has sentenced me hopeless, yet have I been re- 
lieved by the prevalency of fervent prayer, and that 
(as the physician saith "tuto, cito, et jucunde," 
my flesh and my heart failed, but God is the 
strength of my heart and my portion for ever.) 
And though he yet keep me under necessary weak- 
ness, and wholesome sickness, and certain expecta- 
tion of further necessities, and assaults, yet am I 
constrained by most convincing experiences, to set 
up this stone of remembrance, and publickly to 
the praise of the Almighty, to acknowledge that 
certainly God is true of his promises, and that they 
are indeed his own infallible word, and that it is 
a most excellent privilege to have interest in God, 
and a Spirit of supplication to be importunate with 
him. I doubt not but most Christians that observe 
the Spirit and providences are able to attest this 
prevalency of prayer by their own experiences." * 

He then gives a detailed account of his own re- 
markable healing which we quote in full. 

"Among abundance of instances that I could 
give, my conscience commandeth me here to give 
you this one, as belonging to the very words here 
written. I had a tumor rise on one of the tonsils 
or almonds of my throat, round like a pease, and 
at first no bigger; and at last no bigger than a 
small button, and hard like a bone. The fear lest 
it should prove a cancer troubled me more than the 
thing itself. I used first dissolving medicines, and 
after lenient for palliation, and all in vain for about 
a quarter of a year. At last my conscience smote 
vw for silencing so many former deliverances, tJiat 1 



had had in answer of prayers ; merely in pride, lest 
I should be derided as making ostentation of God's 
special mercies to myself, as if I were a special 
favorite of heaven, I had made no public mention 
of them : I was that morning to preach just what 
is here written, and in obedience to my conscience, 
I spoke these words which are now in this page, 
viz : " how many times have I known the prayer of 
faith to save the sick when all physicians have given 
them up as dead" — with some enlargements not 
here written. When I went to church I had my 
tumor as before, (for I frequently saw it in the 
glasse, and felt it constantly.) As soon as I had 
done preaching, I felt it was gone, and hasting to 
the glasse, I saw that there was not the least 
vestigium or cicatrix, or mark wherever it had 
been : nor did I at all discern what became of it. 
I am sure I neither swallowed it nor spit it out, 
and it was unlikely to dissolve by any natural 
cause, that had been hard like a bone a quarter of 
a year, notwithstanding all dissolving gargarismes. 
I thought fit to mention this, because it was done 
just as I spoke the words here written in this page. 
Many such marvellous mercies I have received, 
and known that others have received in answer 
to prayers."* 

At once we imagine the explanations which will 

be given to this artlessly narrated incident. We 

do not vouch for its supernatural character. We 

have introduced it simply to show that Richard 

Baxter believed in modern miracles of healing, and 

there we leave it. It is not the authenticity of the 



wonder but the opinion of the man which we wish 
now to establish. That must be considered un- 

John Albert Bengel is not only greatly esteemed 
but held in real affection by lovers of God's word 
who have studied his commentary. He expounds 
pithily, but what is far better he believes intensely. 
" His works," says Dorner/'were the first cockcrow- 
ing of that new kind of exegesis which the Church 
so much needed." His is pre-eminently the exe- 
gesis of faith in distinction from the exegesis of rea- 
son. If he finds things in the Bible too hard for 
his critical faculty he finds nothing too hard for his 
believing faculty. Hence his interpretations are 
not a sizing and sorting of scripture to the dimen- 
sions of human experience, but a frank acceptance 
of it as God's truth. The word never appears 
shrunken as it comes forth from his hand ; it does 
not present a scant weight as though it had paid toll 
to modem doubt. "Faith takes up all she can get and 
marches bravely onward" is a saying of his that 
describes better than any other his conduct in 
handling scripture. Now by faith Bengel staggered 
not at the promise of miraculous healing, which he 
found in the New Testament, but believed it, and 


confessed it, and rejoiced in it. In speaking of 
the gift of healing he says : — 

" It seems to have been given by God that it 
might always remain in the Church as a specimen 
of the other gifts : Just as the portion of manna 
betokened the ancient miracles."* "O happy sim- 
plicity ! interrupted or lost through unbelief," he 
exclaims. And yet he declares, " even in our day 
faith has in every believer a hidden miraculous 
power. Every result of prayer is really miraculous 
even though this be not apparent; although in 
many, because of their own weakness and the 
world's unworthiness, — not merely because the 
church once planted needs not miracles (though no 
doubt the early New Testament miracles have 
made for the Lord an everlasting name) — that 
power does not exert itself in our day. Signs were 
in the beginning the props of faith : now they are 
the object of faith."f 

And then, for confirming his assertions of his 
belief in the possibility of modern miracles, he in- 
troduces the following instance : 

"At Leonberg a town of Wirtembergh, a. d. 
1644, thirteenth Sunday after Trinity, a girl of 
twenty-three years of age, was so disabled in her 
limbs as hardly to be able to creep along by the 
help of crutches. But whilst the Dean, Raumier 
was his name, was from the pulpit dwelling on the 
miraculous power of Jesu's name she suddenly was 
raised up and restored to the use of her limbs." 

* Comment on James v. 17. 
t On Mark 16: 14. 


This story the American editor omits as though 
solicitous for the critics reputation; but Faucett 
the English translator retains it in its place, and 
adds from information gathered from other sources 
that " this, happened in the presence of the Duke 
of Eberhard, and his courtiers and was committed 
to the public records which are above all suspicion/' 

Edward Irving is another illustrious confessor 
bearing witness to the doctrine we are defending. 
A man of wonderful endowments,* his highest gift 
seems to have been that of faith. He believed, 
with the whole strength and intensity of his na- 
ture, everything which he found written in the 
Scriptures. Cast upon times of great spiritual dead- 
>}S4 he longed to see Christendom mightily revived, 
•did he conceived that this could only be effected 
by stirring up the Church to recover her forfeited 
endowments. "To restore is to revive," was em- 
phatically his motto. He gave great offence by 
his utterances and had his name cast out as evil. 
He was accused of offering strange fire upon the 
altar of his Church, because he thought to relight 

* " But I hold, withal and not the less firmly for these discrepancies in our 
moods and judgments, that Edward Irving possesses more of the spirit and pur- 
pose of the first Reformers, that he lias more of the head and heart, the lit* and 
unction and the genial power of Martin Luther, than any man now alive : yea, 
than any man of this or the last century. I see in Edward Irving a minister of 
Christ after the order of Paul" Coleridge ; works v. vi, p. 115. 


the fire of Pentecost. Need enough was there of 
restoration, when teachers had so far made void the 
word of God by their traditions that in their dis- 
cussion with him they openly appealed from the 
Bible to the standards. Have you never read what 
Jehoiakim the son of Judah did with his pen-knife 
upon the prophet's roll ? — How "it came to pass 
that when Jehudi had reswi three or four leaves, 
he cut it with his penknife and cast it into the 
fire ! " Alas! that modern theology should have 
given occasion to be accused of doing likewise 
with the xiith of 1. Corinthians and sundry other 
parts of scripture that tell about " to another the 
gift of healing by the same Spirit, and another the 
working of miracles, to another prophecy," etc. 

Irving, with a zeal for the Lord not always tem- 
perate, accused the Church of having clipped out 
these portions from the scripture with her exe- 
getical penknife, because she had said "these 
things do not pertain to the Church of to-day." 
And he went farther — "the Lord commanded 
Jeremiah to take another roll and to write in it 
all the former words that were in the first roll 
which Jehoiakim the son of Judah had burned." 
And Irving conceived that he had a similar com- 


mission or at least permission, — not to make any 
new revelation, as he was accused, — but to retrace 
the faded lines of the old, wherein it spoke of 
"spiritual gifts :" and so he encouraged his flock 
to seek for, and if the Lord should permit, to ex- 
ercise the gifts of prophecy and of healing. This 
was his chief affront, and that which brought his 
splendid career under an eclipse, — a result inevi- 
table indeed considering that he was to be judged 
by those who knew no distinction between innova- 
tion and renovation. 

But bating any extravagances into which he may 
have fallen, we confess that our heart has always 
gone out to him in reverence for his heroic fidelity 
to the word of God, and his willingness, in allegi- 
ance to that word, to follow Christ " without the 
camp bearing the reproach." And we believe that 
when the Master shall come to recompense his 
servants, this one will attain a high reward and 
receive of the Lord double for the broken heart 
with which he went down to his grave. 

Irving wrote upon this subject with his usual 
masterly ability. Considering the Church to be 
"the Body of Christ," and the endowment of the 
Church to be " the fulness of him that filleth all 


in all," he held that the Church ought to exhibit 
In every age something of that miraculous power 
which belongs to the Head. That as she endures 
hardness and humiliation as united to him who was 
on the cross, so she should exhibit something of 
supernatural energy as united with him who is on 
the throne. This he conceived to be essential for 
the Church's full witness to Christ — to him "who 
is now creation's sceptre-bearer as he was hereto- 
fore creation's burden-bearer." 

He lamented that the Church in her working 
has descended so much to the plane of the merely 
natural, that in preaching, the arts of the logician 
and the rhetorician have so far supplanted the gifts 
of the Spirit. "The power of miracles must either 
be speedily revived in the Church " he says, 
"or there will be a universal dominion of the me- 
chanical philosophy, and faith will be fairly ex- 
pelled to give place to the law of cause and effect 
acting and ruling in the world of mind as it doth 
in the world of sense."* 

He considered miracles to be intended not only 
for a perpetual demonstration of Christ's power as 
bow living and glorified, but also as a visible fore- 

* Works V.i 479. 


token of his coming kingdom. He has pointed 
out with marked clearness the significance of the 
various signs promised in the great commission, 
showing how these were given as first-fruits of the 
kingdom of God as it shall appear in its full con- 
summation. As that kingdom was always to be 
preached, he held that these signs were promised 
as the perpetual accompaniment of that preaching. 
He concluded that their withdrawal is due to the 
Church's unfaithfulness, and not to any revocation 
on the part of God. 

"These gifts have ceased, I would say, just as 
the verdure and leaves and flowers and fruits of 
the spring and summer and autumn cease in win- 
ter. Because by the chill and wintry blasts which 
have blown over the Church, her power to put 
forth her glorious beauty hath been prevented. 
But because the winter is without a green leaf 01 
beautiful flower do men thereof argue that there 
shall be flowers and fruits no more ? 

Trusting in the word of God, who hath created 
everything to produce and bring forth its kind, 
man puts out his hand in winter and makes prepa- 
rations for the coming year: so if the Church be 
still in existence, and that no one denies : and if it 
be the law and end of her being to embody a first 
fruit and earnest of the power which Christ is to 
put forth in the redemption of all nature ; then, 
what though she hath been brought so low, her lite 


is still in her, and that life will under a more genial 

day put forth its native powers."* 

It was from such convictions as these that he 
reasoned so powerfully and prayed so earnestly for 
the recovery by the Church of her primitive gifts. 
If the effort brought pain and persecution to him, 
we believe it has brought forth some very sweet 
and genial fruits in others. He was no mere 
theorist. He not only exhorted his flock " to live 
by faith continually on Jesus for the body as well 
as the soul," but he has told us the story of his 
casting himself on the Lord when mighty disease 
laid hold of him ; and how his faith was tried to 
the last extremity till with swimming brain and 
deathly sweat he stood holding on to the sides of 
the pulpit, waiting for God to fulfil in the eyes oi 
the people his word "the prayer of faith shall save 
the sick ; " and how his Redeemer at last appeared 
for his help and loosed for him the bands of sick- 
ness enabling hftn to preach on that morning with 
such demonstration and power of the Spirit as he 
had rarely known. 

Thomas Erskine has written on this subject with 
rare insight and depth of conviction. Those who 

* The Church with her Endowment of Holiness and Power ; Works, V. p. 


have read his writings know what a subtle and in- 
tuitive spiritual apprehension he has. A barrister 
by profession he is far more widely known as a 
theologian, while he is most deeply revered as a 
Christian, "who " to use Dr. Hanna's words in his 
preface to his letters "moved so lovingly and at 
tractively among his fellow-men and who walked 
so closely and constantly with God." 

Speaking of miraculous healing and the other 
gifts he says : — 

"But I still continue to think, that to any one 
whose expectations are formed by and founded on 
the New Testament, the disappearance of these 
gifts from the Church must be a far greater diffi- 
culty than their re-appearance could possibly be."* 

In his correspondence with Dr. Chalmers, when 
the latter argued that we ought not to desire signs 
from the Lord, but to be satisfied with the ordi- 
nary manifestations of the Spirit, he replied that 
we ought to desire them, if God has ordained 
them : — 

" If the Lord gives these things as means, surely 
it is not genuine humility which says I am satisfied 
without them. When the Lord desired Ahaz to 
ask a sign he answered, ' I will not ask neither 
will I tempt the Lord : ' but he is severely re- 
buked for this apparent humility." (Is. vii: 12, 13.) 

His strong conviction was that the miraculous 

• Letun p. «&. 


gifts were designed to be a permanent endowment 
of the Church : — 

" The great and common mistake with regard to 
the gifts is that they were intended merely to 
authenticate or to witness to the inspiration of the 
Canon of Scripture, and that therefore when the 
Canon was completed they should cease : whereas 
they were intended to witness to the exaltation of 
Christ as the head of the body, the Church. Had 
the faith of the Church, continued pure and full 
these gifts of the Spirit would never have disap- 
peared. There is no revocation by Christ of that 
word."* (Mark xvi : 17, 18.) 

With such views he watched with great interest 
any indications of a revival of these gifts, and in 
the movement in that direction going on in his 
day, he believed he witnessed some genuine in- 
stances of miraculous healing, as well as of speak- 
ing with tongues. We refer to one case mentioned 
in his letters: 

"In March, 1830, in the town of Port Glasgow, 
on the Clyde, lived a family of MacDonalds, twin 
brothers, James and George, with their sisters. 
One of the sisters, Margaret, of saintly life, lay 
very ill, and apparently nigh to death. She had 
received a remarkable baptism of the Spirit on her 
sick bed, and had been praying for her brothers 
that they might be anointed in like manner. One 
day when James was standing by, and she was in- 

* Brazen Serpent, p. 203. Id. p. tg8. 


terceding that he might at that time be endowed 
with the power of the Holy Ghost, the Spirit came 
upon him with marvellous manifestations. His 
whole countenance was lighted up, and with a 
step and manner of most indescribable majesty he 
walked up to Margaret's bedside and addressed 
her in these words, 'Arise and stand upright.' He 
repeated the words, took her by the hand, and she 
arose. Her recovery was instantaneous and com- 
plete, and the report of it produced a profound 
sensation, and many came from great distances to 
see her. Mr. Erskine visited the house and made 
careful and prolonged inquiry into the facts, and 
put on record his conviction of the genuiness of 
the miracle."* 

His whole discussion of the subject in the work 
referred to, " The Brazen Serpent," is deeply in- 
structive, and especially his exposition of the in- 
tention and significance of miracles of healing as 

Dr. Horace Bushnell, in his well-known work 
"Nature and the Supernatural," not only admits 
the existence of present-day miracles, but con- 
siders that a denial of their possibility would 
imperil his whole argument for the supernatural. 
Conceding that the Church as a whole has lost her 
miraculous faith, and would be inclined to repel it 
were it offered to her, and admitting that thinking 

* Letters, pp. 17*, 182, 183. 


men are not open to conviction on this point, be- 
cause " the human mind, as educated mind is just 
now at the point of religious apogee, where it is 
occupied or preoccupied by nature and cannot 
think it rational to suppose that God does anything 
longer which exceeds the causalities of nature," 
he yet holds that among humble and simple 
hearted believers "sporadic cases" of miracles 
have constantly appeared, and continue to appear. 
And not only this ; he considers that in our time 
there are signs of a revival of the primitive apos- 
tolic gifts ; that Christians " feeling after some 
way out of the dullness of second-hand faith, and 
the dryness of merely reasoned gospel, are long- 
ing for a kind of faith that shows God in living 
commerce with men such as he vouchsafed them 
in former times." " Probably, therefore," he con- 
tinues, " there may just now be coming forth a 
more distinct and widely attested dispensation of 
gifts and miracles than has been witnessed for 

Dr. Bushnell's testimony as a whole is quite 
remarkable, because it is that of a cultivated rea- 
soner, looking at the question through the eyes of 
logic as well as through the eyes of faith- His 


well argued discussion and wide array of facts 
ought at. least to arrest the attention of the savans 
who toss off this subject with a derisive sneer. 
That unripe skepticism, which denies before it has 
even doubted, has nowhere been more arrogant 
than on this field. Presumptious enough it is to 
attempt to pick a miracle to pieces with the steel 
fingers of logic, but to leave it cooly alone is 
worse. And yet this is the method which reason 
has too often taken with anything professedly 
supernatural in these days. Scientific reason and 
Christian reason have passed by modern miracles 
as poor relations, to be looked at askance but not 
to be admitted into the best circles of taith and 
credence. And it is, therefore, quite gratifying to 
note the frank and cordial recognition which a 
thinker like Dr. Bushnell extends to them. Heal- 
ing, prophecy, and gifts of tongues he admits as 
possible, and to some extent operative to-day as in 
the beginning. From a large array of instances 
adduced in his work we give place to but one, re- 
ferring the reader for further information to the 
fourteenth chapter of the work named, in which he 
discusses the proposition : " Miracles and super- 
natural gifts not discontinued'* 


The case cited is from the experience of a friend 
of his, who had been healed by prayer himself, 
and had, as he believed, received the gift of heal- 
ing. He gives the instance to Dr. Bushnell in 
writing, and the doctor considers his character 
and veracity to be such as to put his story beyond 
question : 

" At length one of his children, whom he had 
with him away from home, was taken ill with scar- 
let fever. And now the question was," I give his 
own words, " what was to be done ? The Lord 
had healed my own sickness, but would he heal 
my son ? I conferred with a brother in the Lord, 
who, having no faith in Christ's healing power, 
urged me to send instantly for the doctor, and I 
dispatched his groom on horseback to fetch him. 
Before the Doctor arrived my mind was filled with 
revelation on the subject. I saw that I had fallen 
into a snare by turning away from the Lord's heal- 
ing hand to lean on medical skill. I felt greviously 
condemned in my conscience ; a fear also fell on 
me that if I persevered in my unbelieving course 
my son would die, as his oldest brother had. The 
symptoms in both were precisely similar. The 
doctor arrived. My son, he said, was suffering 
from a scarlet fever, and medicine should be sent 
immediately. While he stood, prescribing, I re- 
solved to withdraw the child and cast him on the 
Lord. And when he was gone I called the nurse 
and told her to take the child into the nursery, and 
lay him on the bed. I then fell on my knees, con- 
fessing the sin I had committed against the Lord's 


healing power. I also prayed most earnestly that 
it would please my heavenly Father to forgive my 
sin, and to show that he forgave it by causing the 
fever to be rebuked. I received a mighty convic- 
tion that my prayer was heard, and I arose and 
went to the nursery, at the end of a long passage, 
to see what the Lord had done, and on opening 
the door, to my astonishment, the boy was sitting 
up in his bed, and on seeing me cried out, ' I am 
quite well and want to have my dinner.' In an 
hour he was dressed, and well, and eating his din- 
ner, and when the physic arrived it was cast out of 
the window. 

Next morning the doctor returned, and on meet- 
ing me at the garden gate he said, * I hope your 
son is no worse ? " He is very well, I thank you, 
said I in reply. 'What can you mean?' rejoined 
the doctor. I will tell you ; come in and sit down. 
I then told him all that had occurred, at which he 
fairly gasped with surprise. ' May I see your son,' 
he asked. Certainly, doctor ; but I see that you 
do not believe me. We proceded up stairs, and 
my son was playing with his brother on the floor. 
The doctor felt his pulse and said, ■ Yes, the fever 
is gone.' Finding also a fine, healthy surface on 
his tongue, he added, 'Yes, he is quite well ; I sup- 
pose it was the crisis of his disease." * 

These testimonies might be increased by the 

addition of such names as those of Hugh Grotius, 

the Dutch theologian, and Lavater, the "Fenelon 

of Switzerland," as he has been called, and Hugh 

VlcNeil, the eminent English evangelical minister 

Kature and tha Supernatural, p. 48a 


of the last generation, and Thomas Boys, M. A., 
of Trinity College, Cambridge, England, and 

But we have not space to refer to more. These 
are a goodly array of witnesses ; yet not because of 
their eminence have we summoned them. We 
care little for the testimony of a deep thinker ex- 
cept he has thought deeply and devoutly upon the 
subject in hand. The shorter sounding line, if it 
has dropped its lead to the utmost limit, has told 
us more of the depth than the longer one that re- 
mained coiled and dry. And so the very mediocre 
theologian who has studied this question to the 
extent of his capacity is a better witness than the 
most profound who has never investigated it, but 
has rested in unreasoning assent to what Dr. Bush- 
nell calls " the clumsy assumption " that all mira- 
cles closed with the apostolic age. 

* The works of Thomas Boys, "The Christian Dispensation Miraculous" and 
" Proofs 0/ Miraculous Faith and Experience of the Church in all Ages" are 
full of learning and information on this whole subject, and this book gratefully 
acknowledges its indebtedness to them for several quotations and translations from 
rare and inacessible works. 



There is a special and weighty reason why we 
should lay emphasis on any testimonies on this 
subject coming from those who are preaching the 
gospel among the Pagans. The rigid logic which 
is supposed to fence out miracles from modern 
Christendom, does not seem to have been careful 
to include heathendom in its prohibition. For 
when it is said that " miracles belong to the plant- 
ing of Christianity not to its progress and develop- 
ment;" it will at once strike us that missions are 
practically the planting of Christianity. There is 
really little if any difference between Paul at 
Melita, and Judson in India. In each instance it 
is the herald of the Gospel set down among a su- 
perstitious and idolatrous people. And admitting 
the proposition just quoted to be true, it would be 
very difficult to say why if Paul went into the 
house of Publius in the one place and laid his hands 
on his sick father and healed him, it might not be 


permitted Judson to go into some home in Burmah 
and do the same. And if it be said that signs are 
not needed while we have the history of the Chris- 
tian Church, and the influence of powerful Christian 
nations for the authentication and enforcement of 
the gospel,* it must still be remembered that these 
forces are practically powerless until by the plant- 
ing of Christianity the heathen have been made 
acquainted with Ecclesiastical History and brought 
in contact with Christian civilization ; so that the 
argument comes back again to this conclusion : — 
that if miracles belong to the planting of Christi- 
anity, there would be no inherent improbability of 
their appearing on missionary fields, and among 
those who are engaged in introducing the Gospel 
into new countries. The justness of this conclu- 
sion has been recognized by several writers. 

-We are glad to find, for example so devout and 
eminent a theologian as Professor Christlieb of 
Bonn accepting most candidly and frankly this 
position. For after admitting the force of the 
argument against miracles in Christianized coun- 
*jies he says : — 

" Our age however is still characterized by the 

*See AHordon Mark 16 


establishment of new Churches. The work of 
missions is outwardly at least more extended than 
it ever was before. In this region therefore, accord- 
ing to our former rule, miracles should not be en- 
tirely wanting* Nor are they. We cannot there- 
fore fully admit the proposition that no more mira- 
cles are petformed in our day. In the history oj 
modern missions we find many wonderful occurren- 
ces which unmistakably remind us of the apostolic 
age. In both periods there are similar hinderances 
to be overcome in the heathen world and similar 
confirmations of the word are needed to convince 
the dull sense of men : we may therefore expect 
miracles in this case."f 

And then as though less afraid of the imputa- 
tion of credulity than of skepticism, he gives sev- 
eral instances, in the genuineness of which he 
expresses entire confidence. These we believe are 
but samples of hundreds that might be produced 
were it not for the exceeding timidity, the shyness 
amounting almost to shame-facedness with which 
so many Christians approach this subject Of 
course with this sentiment of distrust generally 
prevailing on the subject, we could hardly expect 
that witnesses would be very forward in reporting 
things indiscreetly supernatural, though quite con- 
fident of having seen them. 

• Abp. Tiltotson puts forth a similar view. Works, x. p. sjo- 
t Modern Doubt and Christian Belief, p. jj«. 


We venture however to give several instances of 

what seems to be divine healing, as they have been 

reported from missionary fields — the first three 

being those cited by Dr. Christlieb in the work just 

referred to: — 

" And now read the history of Hans Egede, the 
first Evangelical missionary in Greenland. He had 
given the Esquimaux a pictorial representation of 
the miracles of Christ before he had mastered 
their language. His hearers, who, like many in 
the time of Christ, had a perception only for bodily 
relief, urge him to prove the power of this Re- 
deemer of the world upon their sick people. With 
many sighs and prayers he ventures to lay his 
hands upon several, prays over them, and lo, he 
makes them whole in the name of Jesus Christ! 
The Lord could not reveal himself plainly enough 
to this mentally blunted and degraded race by 
merely spiritual means, and therefore bodily signs 
were needed." 

"At a Rhenish mission station in South Africa 
in 1858, an earnest native Christian saw an old 
friend who had become lame in both legs. Im- 
pressed with a peculiar sense of believing confv 
dence, he went into the bushes to pray, and then 
came straight up to the cripple, and said, ' the 
same Jesus who made the lame to walk, can do so 
still: I say to thee, in the name of Jesus, rise and 
walk!' The lame man, with kindred faith, raised 
himself on his staff and walked, to the astonish- 
ment of all who knew him." (Vide the Memoire 
of Kleinschmidt, Barmen 1866, p. 58, ff). 


Another most remarkable instance occurred in 
the case of a missionary of the Rhenish society, 
named Nommensen, working in Sumatra. 

" On one occasion a heathen who had designs 
on his life managed secretly to mix a deadly poison 
in the rice which Nommensen was preparing for 
his dinner. Without suspicion, the missionary ate 
the rice, and the heathen watched for him to fall 
down dead. Instead of this, however, the promise 
contained in Mark xvi: 18, was fulfilled, and he 
did not experience the slightest inconvenience. 
The heathen, by this palpable miraculous proof of 
the Christian God's power, became convinced of 
the truth, and was eventually converted ; but not 
until his conscience had impelled him to confess 
his guilt to Nommensen, did the latter know from 
what danger he had been preserved. This inci- 
dent is well attested, and the missionary still 
lives." 1873, (vd v, Rohden Geschichte der rhein, 
Missionsgesellsschaft, p. 324.) 

It will be seen that these instances cover several 
specifications in Mark 16: 17, 18. Their miracu- 
lous character cannot of course be vouched for 
with certainty. For we have not witnesses super- 
naturally inspired to accredit works supernaturally 
wrought, if there are such still. But one would 
hardly wish to charge deception on those who 
have reported them. For us, however, their prob- 
ability rests more strongly on the words of the 


great commission* under which these missionaries 
were acting than on the trust-worthiness of human 
testimony. Doctrines which have been almost 
universally denied are certain to force themselves 
into acceptance again if they are in the Bible, and 
that Bible is studied. And a promise in the mis- 
sionary's commission which says : " These signs 
shall follow " is liable now and then to break 
through custom and prejudice and get itself ful- 
filled. Besides that commission is certain to fall 
into the hands of native preachers, who are un* 
skilled in the arts of refining and spiritualizing 
scripture, and who know no better than to take 
God literally at his word. And who can tell what 
may not happen when a Christian who has not 
learned to doubt comes to God to claim the fulfil- 
ment of one of his promises ? In such a case we 

* " But, inasmuch as far later times are full of testimonies to this point, I 
know not from what motive some persons restrain the gift to the first ages. 
While I readily grant to such persons that there was a richer abundance of mira^ 
cles in order that the foundation of so great a structure might, in spite of the 
world's power, be laid, I cannot with them perceive why we should believe that 
<fiis promise of Christ has ceased to be in force. Wherefore, if any one preach 
Christ, as he would have himself preached, to the nations that know him not 
(for miracles are peculiarly intended for such, i Cor. xiv. 22), I doubt not that 
the promise will still be found to stand good ; for the gifts of God are without 
repentance (Rom. xi. 29). But we, whenever the fault lies in our own sloth at 
unbelief, throw the blame on him." — Hugo Grotms. 1583 — 1645. 


may hear of miracles quite artless and rude in their 

A missionary of the Presbyterian Board who has 
been laboring for many years in China, declares 
that with the New Testament in their hands the 
native Christians are constantly finding and put- 
ting in practice the promises for miraculous heal- 
ing. This fact has led him to a careful revision of 
his opinions on the subject. He writes: 

"Fully believing that the gifts of the Spirit 
were not to be taken from the Church, I feel as- 
sured that our faith ought to exercise and claim 
their use now. The salvation. aimed for by all, 
should be present release from sin and the power 
of Satan. If this is attained then the whole ad- 
vantage of Christ's life, death and resurrection will 
be secured. Healing is as much a part of this as any 
verbal proclamation of the good news. The min- 
istry of healing, therefore, can not be divorced 
from the duty of the missionary." 

An honored missionary among the Karens gives 
the following experience : 

"While travelling in the Pegu district I was 
strongly urged to visit an out of the way village, 
in which were only a few Christians. Entering 
the house of one of them, 1 had been seated but 
a little while when there came in a Karen, an en- 
tire stranger, but whose salutation proved him a 
Christian. He at once said that hearing that 
the teacher had come to visit the village, he came 


to beg that I would go and pray for his son who 
was very ill, he feared dying. He quoted James 

v., 14-15 as his excuse. Of course Mrs. and 

myself went at once, accompanied by the three or 
four Christians of the house in which we were. 
The patient was found to be a child of about fif- 
teen years of age, possibly not over fourteen, but 
through scrofula, he was distorted and crippled so 
that he could not walk, indeed had never walked 
upright but crept painfully on knees and hands. He 
was greatly wasted, and had been much worse for 
some weeks, and at the time was perfectly helpless 
through extreme weakness. He had every appear- 
ance of one near death. We prayed, each in turn, 
the lad mingling short requests with ours. I think 
in all seven brethren offered petitions. A little 
bottle of medicine was left from our scanty supplies 
and we took leave of the poor little fellow. Six 
months afterwards the father came to the city, 
and on inquiring of him he said that his son 
was well, — well as he had never been in his life, 
and was actually walking on his feet, that the hea- 
then families living in the village were deeply 
impressed, and said unhesitatingly that our prayers 
had saved him. I asked him his own opinion. He, 
most emphatically, in his strong Karen way, said : 
* God has done it ; God has healed him/ He then 
said, ' Teacher this is no new thing ; I was with 
your father-in-law many times when God, in ans- 
wer to prayers, healed the sick, and that is why 1 
asked you to pray with my boy, and now he is 
healed.' " 

Many testimonies have been recently published 

by missionaries of their own recovery from hope- 


less sickness through the prayers of faith. We 
can give place to but one, and that quite abridged 
in form. It is from Rev. Albert Norton, and is 
written to Dr. Stanton of Cincinnati, formerly 
moderator of the General Assembly. After de* 
scribing his terrible sickness in Elichpoor, India, 
June, 1879 — an abscess in the liver which had 
worked itself through the pleura and was discharg- 
ing itself into the right lung — the most intense 
pain ever endured, and withal malarious remittent 
fever, &c, He continues : 

" I was thinking only of how I might die as easy 
as possible, when I was aroused by strong desire 
to live for my family, and to preach the unsearch- 
able riches of the Gospel, and the thought came 
' why cannot God heal you ? ' My dear wife was 
the only Christian believer, except an ignorant 
Kerkoo lad, within eighteen miles. At my re- 
quest she anointed me with oil, and united her 
prayers with mine that God might at once heal 
me. While I was praying vocally, before I felt 
any change in my body, I felt perfectly certain 
that God had heard and answered our prayers. 
When we were through praying we commenced 
praising ; for the acute pain in my right side, and 
the fever, had left me. I was able at once to read 
some from the Bible, and to look out some pas- 
sages from the Greek Testament. Neither the 
fever nor the acute pain returned, and from that 
hour I began rapidly to grow stronger. In a few 
days I was able to walk half a mile without fatigue 


In this sickness I took no medicine, and had the 
help of no physician but Jesus. To him be all 
the praise and glory. Why should it be thought a 
strange thing that he can heal our bodies ? It is 
written of him, ' Himself took our infirmities and 
bare our sicknesses.' Is it not said of our Lord, 
'Who healeth all thy diseases/ as well as 'Who 
forgiveth all their iniquities ' ? " * 

We must believe, however, that if God really 
stretched forth his hand to heal in these instances, 
it was for the furtherance of the gospel as the 
chief purpose. Miracles are the signs and not the 
substance of Christianity. They are for the con- 
firmation of the Word, and not merely for the 
comfort of the body. And this fact especially en- 
hances the probability that they might not be 
entirely wanting in heathen lands. 

The blind man must read his Bible by means of 
raised letters and through the coarser sense of 
touch, since he is lacking in eyesight. And what 
if to the blind pagans, God should be pleased now 
and then to present the gospel embossed in signs 
and wonders, if " haply they might feel after him 
and find him " in this way, when they could not at 
first discern him with the spiritual understanding ? 
No more serious objection could be made against 

* The Great Physician, by Rev. W. E. Boardman, p. ft. 


this method than that it is a revival of the primi 
tive. — "And they went forth and preached every- 
where, the Lord working with them, and confirm- 
ing the word with signs following." Not for the 
satisfaction of the flesh but for the glory of God 
and the vindication of his truth does our Lord 
stretch out his healing hand and " make bare his 
holy arm in the eyes of all the nations." If it 
should be his good pleasure to make use of those 
•ther miracles, the miracles of martyrdom,* and 
to show the power of his grace in the supernatural 
endurance of his servants under suffering, the 
same end has been reached. Perpetua and Felici- 
tas, going to a terrible death with a serenity rising 
Into absolute joy — the declaration of utter insen- 
sibility to pain made before a multitude of witnes- 
ses — who has not read of the thrilling impression 
thus produced upon the heathen, and of the irresis- 
table impulse thereby given to the truth ? These 
are but miracles of healing seen on their reverse 
side ; the Lord's hand stretched out to rob death 
of its pain, instead of robbing death of its victim. 
"That the word of the Lord may have free course 
and be glorified whether by my life or by my death"; 

•"Martyrdoms I reckon amongst Miracles, becauM they exceed die •trengtfc <d 
human nature." - Bac*n. 


whether by my cure or by my patience under suf- 
fering — this must be our prayer always. But 
God be praised that he willeth the 'health of his 
people and not their hurt. The priests of Baal seek 
to prove their God by cutting themselves with 
knives and lancets. Elijah has just proved his 
God by calling the widow's dead son to life and 
delivering him to his mother. How greatly do the 
idolators, with their endless worship of self-torture, 
need to be taught this truth : that our God is one 
that makes alive and not one that killeth. 

Would, then, that the heathen could know Christ 
as the Healer ! Who has not said it as he has 
read of the awful loathsomeness of their sicknesses 
and the cruel impositions of their doctors. Next 
to the intolerable tyranny of evil priests is that of 
" the forgers of lies, the physicians of no value," 
with which every pagan nation is afflicted. Can 
we describe or imagine the joy of the heathen's 
deliverance from the hopeless search for peace of 
conscience, as he finds Christ, the sin pardoner ? 
" Great Spirit untie the load of our sins. If this 
load were bound round our shoulders we could un- 
tie it for ourselves ; but it is bound round our 
hearts, and we cannot untie it, but thou canst 


Lord untie it now." So prayed a poor Fejee 
Islander.* Was not the revelation beyond all 
price that made known to him the fact that Christ 
" bore our sins in his own body on the tree," and so 
could instantly lift the load which he had toiled in 
vain to lift ? And what if added to this he could hear 
and appropriate that other revelation, that " himself 
bare our sicknesses?" If when " the whole head is 
sick and the whole heart faint, from the sole of the 
foot even unto the head, no soundness in it, but 
wounds and bruises and putrifying sores ;" and if, 
after spending all his living on false physicians, his 
wounds " have not been closed, neither bound up, 
neither mollified with ointment," he could then 
know the Saviour's healing touch laid upon him, 
and hear the word " thou art made whole," what 
glory would he give to our Lord and Redeemer! 

Is it unbecoming or presumptuous for us to con 
jecture what effects would ensue if the gospel 
were thus to be preached on heathen fields " with 
signs following ? " Sickness is the dark shadow of 
sin, and nowhere does it lie so heavily as on the 
pagan nations. If now and then that shadow were 
seen to be lifted by the Lord's hand, the event 

• Journal of Weslyan Mittioos. 


could hardly fail to open a wide and effectual door 
of entrance for the gospel. God forbid that we 
should desire or grasp for anything which it is not 
his pleasure to give. But what if it should seem 
to us that the great commission demands these 
signs instead of forbidding them ? Baptism, that 
sign of Christ's death and resurrection and of our 
justification thereby, is in the commission: and 
what bitter battles have been fought in the Church 
for its maintenance ! And healing the sick, that 
sign of Christ glorified and alive forevermore, is 
)n the commission just as unequivocally. And 
yet we are so weak and perplexed and impo- 
tent before it. Yes ! it is there : But who is 
sufficient for these things ? " Who of us would 
quite dare to repeat on behalf of our Missionary 
brethren, some of whom are laboring among hos- 
tile rulers, and blood-thirsty tribes, the apostles 
prayer — " And now Lord behold their threaten- 
ings and grant unto thy servants that with all bold- 
ness they may speak thy word, by stretching forth 
thine hand to heal: and that signs and wonders 
may be done in the name of thy holy child Jesus ?" 
If we cannot utter this prayer we may at least join 
in the petition which a devout commentator 


breathes over the closing words of Mark's Gospel 

" Let us cry to the Lord : strengthen and bless 
thou the hands of thine authenticated messengers : 
that they may rightly lay them upon men ; and 
that before thy coming again thy promise may be 
abundantly fulfilled : they shall be healed: it shall 
be well with them." 

•Stier>s WonT.of Jmos. 



His testimony ought not to be cited, it will be 
said, since he is " a liar and the father of it." 

But if we bear in mind always who and what he 
is, his witness may serve a very excellent end. 
For we must know, unless we are utterly " igno- 
rant of his devices," that his deceptions are 
generally counterfeits of divine realities. His 
business is to resist the Almighty by mimicking 
his words and his works. Hence his lies are often 
very serviceable as the negatives from which to 
reproduce photograph's of God's truths. And if 
we will notice what the adversary is especially busy 
in bringing forward at any period, we may by con- 
trast infer what vital doctrine or important truth 
of God is struggling into recognition. 

We regard this principle as so unquestionable 
and so distinctly scriptural, that we are always 
surprised to see Christian writers betrayed by 
overlooking it. " If you credit any modern mira- 


cles in God's true Church, you must logically con- 
cede the genuineness of the alleged miracles of 
the Romish Church " it is often confidently said. 
Nay ! but have you never read of him " whose 
coming is after the working of Satan with all 
power and signs and lying wonders?"* The work- 
ing of Anti-christ is the counterpart of the work- 
ing of Christ. Not feeble, transparently false, and 
contemptible are the miracles of the adversary. 
" Signs and wonders," are predicted of him — the 
same terms as those applied to the works of Christ. 
And not only that, but " all power," is ascribed to 
him — the same words employed which Christ 
used at his ascension, when laying claim to uni- 
versal authority. Without stopping to consider 
what limitations the language may have in such 
connection, its use is certainly startling and indi- 
cates that the miracles of Anti-christ are likely to 
be powerful and impressive, and fitted to " deceive 
the very elect." But it is most illogical to con- 
clude that we must believe in lying wonders, be- 
cause we believe in real wonders ; and that we 
must credit the miracles of the Apostate Church 
because we find those which we credit in the true 

* ii The»(. ii i to, is. Abo R«v. 16: 14. " Spirit* ol Derflf working miracle* " 



Church. We say "miracles of the Apostate 
Church." The fathers and the reformers attribu- 
ted actual miracles to Anti-christ, — wonders of a 
superhuman character, only demoniacal instead of 
divine, wrought through the agency of evil spirits 
to simulate the works of the Spirit of God.* And 
this view seems scriptural. In describing the 
perils of the last days Paul declares concerning false 
teachers that "as Jannes and Jambres withstood 
Moses so do these also resist the truth." The 
method of resistance which these magicians offer- 
ed, it will be remembered, was to reproduce the 
miracles of God's servants. When Aaron wrought 
wonders with his rod "they also did in like manner 
with their enchantments." Miracle was matched by 
miracle, and wonder by wonder, up to the point 
where God triumphed by confounding the deceiv- 

So has it been with the Church of Christ all 
through her history. Satan has ever been seeking 
to thwart God by imitation rather than by denial. 

•Augustine declares that miracles may emanate " either frotn seducing spirits 
or from God himself ." Huss says, " the disciples of Anti-christ are more dis- 
tinguished by miracles than those of Christ, and will be so in day* to come,— 
Defence of Wickliffe, p. 115. Calvin says, " Satan perverts the things which oth- 
erwise are truly works of God and miitmjUys thwocU* to vbsotre G*-ft glory" 
Comment on 11. The**. 11 1 9. 


And we imagine that he has done more for build 
ing up his kingdom through the Papal miracle' 
mongers who have claimed divine power than 
through the infidel miracle-deniers who have dis- 
puted it. But there have been nevertheless certain 
evident tokens of spuriousness attaching to Romish 
miracles, that have indicated their true character to 
believers. There is a kind of Egyptian crudeness 
about them which suggests the art of the sorcerer 
rather than the touch of God's finger. Alleged heal- 
ing by contact with the bones of dead saints : pains 
assuaged by making the sign of the Cross over the 
sufferer ; recoveries effected by pilgrimages to the 
shrines of martyrs, and evil spirits exorcised by 
the crucifix or the image of the virgin I who does 
not see the vast contrast in these methods, from 
the dignified and simple methods of Christ and his 
Apostles ? " God never puts a man upon the stage 
that Satan does not immediately bring forward an 
ape," says Godet. He will approach as near the 
truth as possible, and still keep to his lie. He 
will give us miracles through his false prophets 
that seem divine in their end and purpose, but will 
always be careful to link them to some deadly su- 
perstition or fatal heresy. 


We emphasize the assertion therefore that false 
miracles are a testimony to the existence some 
where of the true, and that we ought to be very 
careful lest in our revolt from the caricature, we 
swing over to a denial of the genuine.* 

In our own time we have witnessed an extraor- 
dinary forth-putting of satanic energy in the works 
of modern spiritualism. This is a system more 
versatile in uncleanness, more fertile in blasphemy, 
and more prolific of adulteries, fleshly and spiritual 
than any probably that has appeared for many 
generations. In all its acts and exhibitions, it is 
so redolent of the foul smoke of Gehenna, that it 
would seem impossible that any Christian could be 
deceived by it ; yet it has taken thousands of pro- 
fessed disciples of Christ captive, so that they have 
" gone in the way of Cain, and run greedily after 
the error of Baalam for reward, and perished in 
the gainsaying of Core." Its manifestations arfl 
characterized by just those impish, grotesque and 

* "According to all evidence of Scripture there never were spurious miracles with- 
out the genuine : there never were those from beneath, without those from above 
at the same time. And prophecy agrees with fact. As tokens of the last day our 
Lord foretells the signs and wonders of false Christs and prophets, and Joel fore- 
tells true ones. Thus every counterfeit implies something counterfeited; and if 
you prove counterfeit miracles, you only tell us to open our eyes the wider and 
Cook for the originals." Rev. Thomas Boys. " Proofs of Miraculous Faith and 
Experience of the Church." P. 1 1, w. 


fantastic exhibitions, which always distinguish the 
devil's work from that of Christ Its rappings 
and table-tippings and materializations, and com- 
munions with the dead, — what evident tokens of 
perdition these should be to one who has been at 
all accustomed to discriminate between divine and 
satanic traits ! And yet as a competent writer de- 
clares " these things are unblushingly and openly 
professed and practiced by Christian men in all 
lands : those who believe them to be really spirit- 
ual, affirming that they are wrought by good spir- 
its ; and those who disbelieve them to be the work 
of spirits at all, playing with them in their unbe- 
lief." Alas ! that such a system should be able to 
boast of its millions of adherents, and that in those 
millions thousands should be found who have borne 
or still bear the name of Christ. Looking at the 
matter in the light of Scripture, we know of no 
more conspicuous sign of the last days and of the 
"perilous times " therein predicted than this.* 
Now it is well known that one of the loudest 

•" Whenever these things have appeared it wu a sign of approaching doom. 
When the Caaaanites practised thero the measure of their iniquity was full. When 
Saul applied to the Witch of F.ndor, his end was near. When these things pre- 
vailed among the Jews, their day was closing. Let us not permit such among us 
lest it should become the sign to us of declension and doom"- Tract, " What m 
tttt t mt rum t " Ltm d t m Benvrik *nd Hitrrucn. 


pretensions of spiritualism is the claim to effect 
miraculous healing. It declares that Christ 
wrought his cures through the agency of spirits 
and that it can do the same. Hence the legion of 
"healing mediums," and the innumerable "lying 
wonders" by which their assumptions are enforced. 
It is very natural that decent Christians in their 
recoil from such revolting wonder-working, should 
take the position of stout denial of all miraculous 
interventions in modern times, and of any super- 
natural healing. But we believe this to be an un- 
worthy and unfaithful attitude. It is as though 
Moses and Aaron had retreated in disgust before 
Jannes and Jambres, instead of pressing on with 
miracle upon miracle till they had compelled them 
to surrender to the Lord of Hosts. It is as though 
Paul had been ashamed of the power of the Spirit 
that was in him when he met the "damsel possessed 
with a spirit of divination," and had renounced his 
miraculous gifts for fear of being identified with 
sooth-sayers and necromancers, instead of assert- 
ing his power as he did the more mightily, and 
saying to the evil spirit that possessed her, "I 
command thee in the name of the Lord Jesus to 
come out of her." 


To us this outbreak of satanic empiricism* would 
be a strong presumptive proof that somewhere 
the Lord is reviving among his people the gifts of 
divine healing : and this constant presentation of 
the devil's coin would lead us to search diligently 
for the genuine coin bearing Christ's own image 
and superscription. 

A thoughtful writer on this subject has called 
attention to the fact that the era of modern spirit- 
ualism covers almost exactly the era of the alleged 
revival of the gifts of healing. The most striking 
instances of professed miraculous cure in modern 
times happened, as we have shown elsewhere, 
about fifty years ago in Scotland and in England 
The instances have increased and multiplied since, 
till to-day the number of devout, prayerful, evan- 
gelical Christians who claim to have been miracu- 
lously recovered is very large, and their names are 

• It U a carious fact that in the New Testament Greek, the term for sorcery is 
the fame as that for drugs. For example, Rer. aa : 15. " Without are dogs and 
sorcerers," Qapfiaitti pharmacists, and GaL ri : 19. — " The works of the flesh 
are adultery, undeanness, laaciviousnesB, idolatry, witchcraft, jap/tama phnr. 
macy. And when we think of the legion of medicine-men and medicine-women 
who prey upon the sick ; the spiritualists and trance-doctors with their prescrip- 
tions dictated by the dead, who swarm into the sick-rooms of our afflicted humani- 
ty, as thick an the frogs of Egypt in the bed-chambers of Pharaoh, then seems to 
be agransjgBafoaaawhjtbeuseof these worrfe. 


sent up from every nation where the Gospel has 
been preached. 

It may be that " the prince of the power of the 
air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of 
disobedience," seeing God about to put forth his 
hand again in signs and wonders, and miracles of 
healing, has determined, as he is wont, to thwart the 
Lord by caricaturing his work, and bringing it into 
contempt in the eyes of his own true people. Thus, 
perhaps, he has thrown himself into the very path 
which the Almighty is about to enter, that so he 
may frighten his church from treading it. Or, 
to state the matter as it seems to us most probable, 
it may be that the adversary has seized as his most 
opportune occasion a time when a belief in the 
supernatural is at its lowest ebb * in the church* 
and when a denial of modern miracles is well nigh 
universal among the learned, and that in such a 
period he is putting forth the most signal displays 
of superhuman power in order to set his evil im- 
press upon those who may be impressed by these 

* " When men no longer believe in God they begin to believe in ghosts. In 
truth there has scarcely ever been an age when men have snatched more greedily 
after the extravagant than our own which derides the supernatural. " — Schenkel. 
Hear also Carlyle's powerful ridicule of Paris, coating off God and running after 
mesmerism, " O women I O men I great is {your infidel faith. I "-French ReTC 
cattoa, p. 50. 


things. Thus he is copying the Lord's own me 
thod in using miracles as an evidential testimony, 
only with this end, to establish " the doctrines of 
devils," and to convert people to the creed of the 
prince of darkness. But are we to turn against 
the witness of miracles, because of this attempt to 
make it perjure itself in the interest of the evil 
one ? Or, to reverse the hypothesis, and suppose 
that the evil one is the first to enter this field, then 
comes the question with equal force, whether be- 
cause of his preoccupancy we should refuse to go 
into it, if God's Spirit leads the way. If Anti- 
christ is about to make his mightiest and most 
malignant demonstration, ought not the Church, if 
the Lord will give her power, to confront him with 
sweet and gracious and humble displays of the 
Spirit's saving health ? Here we believe Prof. 
Christlieb speaks again with true scriptural wisdom 
when he says : 

" In the last epoch of the consummation of the 
Church she will again require for the final decisive 
struggle with the powers of darkness the miraculous 
interference of her risen Lord ; and hence the scrip- 
tures lead us to expect miracles once more for this 
period." * Meanwhile let us be careful that the 

• Modem Doubt and Christian Belief, p. 3 ja. 


adversary does not cheat us out of our birthright. 
If he has set his trade-mark on miracles, and is 
using them mightily in his traffic with simple souls, 
let us not make haste therefore to forfeit whatever 
right and title in them the Lord has bequeathed 
to us. Let us not abandon our wheat field because 
the devil has sowed tares in it. The fact that he 
sows tares, is his testimony to the genuineness of 
the wheat. 

Of course we should expect in the event of the 
Church's recovery to any extent of her super- 
natural gifts that the enemy would put forth re- 
doubled energy to baffle and confound her. Before 
a sleeping church the adversary walks very softly, 
and modulates his roar to the finest tones, lest he 
wake her from her slumber. But let her once rise 
up and take to herself some long disused power 
and he will quickly manifest himself in his old 
character of " a roaring lion walking about seeking 
whom he may devour." 

Erskine, speaking concerning those texts which 
so clearly confer miraculous gifts upon the Church, 

" I may here remark it, as a striking fact illus- 
trative of the cunning of the prince of darkness, 


that he has not permitted his instruments to pres* 
these texts much, nor to argue from them so tri- 
umphantly as they might have done, that the 
absence of miracles from the Church was a refuta- 
tion of the Bible. The Bible says, " These signs 
shalljollow them that believe." And yet here is a 
Church holding this faith and unfollowed by these 
signs. The ready conclusion from this fact cer- 
tainly is that the Bible is not true ; and we might 
have expected that this argument would be much 
nsed by those who deny the Bible to be a divine 
revelation. But it has not been much urged ; and 
why ? The subtle enemy of man saw that there 
was more danger to his own kingdom from the use 
of this weapon than advantage. It might have 
led to a result very different from that of disprov- 
ing the divine authority of the Bible. There is 
another conclusion to which it might have led, and 
ihat is a lack of faith in the Church. And thus 
the pressing of this argument might have awak- 
ened the Church to a sense of her true condition ; 
and this Satan fears more than the Bible, knowing 
that a church asleep is the most powerful weapon 
against the world, much more powerful than any 
infidel arguments." * 

* Brucn Serpent, p. 104. 



Awake, then, oh Church ! Put on thy strength ! 
Awake indeed to evil surmisings and contempt 
and opprobrium. For none ever yet escaped these 
things in attempting to revive a forgotten truth. 
But these may be tokens of the Lord's favor. 
Certainly they are not the credentials of a slumber- 
ing and world-pleasing church. At all events, let 
us fear them less than that other alternative, that 
the heathen shall cry "Where is thy God?" and 
none shall be able to answer "Jehovah Rophi is 
with us." 



" Prove me now herewith " is the challenge which 
the Lord has given in his word ; and there are 
many in the present generation who have accepted 
and tested his challenge on the promises of bodily 

We wish in this chapter to consider the experi- 
ences and testimony of certain, who within our 
own times have exercised a ministry of healing. 
Let us not be misunderstood. We do not attribute 
to any man the power of curing sickness, though 
we think many are called to be instruments to that 
end. A physician is a mediator between nature 
and our suffering humanity. And his skill depends 
solely upon his ability to interpret and apply the 
laws of health to the sick, and to bring the sufferer 
into contact with the recuperative forces of the nat- 
ural world. In like manner if the primitive "gifts of 
healing " are still bestowed in the Church, as we 
believe, those endowed with them have power only 


through the mediation of their faith and prayers. 
We are told that Paul entered into the house of 
Publius, and, finding his father sick, " prayed and 
laid his hands on him and healed him." But we do 
not understand from this that the apostle had any 
inherent personal power to heal disease ; else why 
did he pray ? Prayer is touching the hem of 
Christ's garment by the human intercessor, while in 
the laying on of hands he at the same moment 
touches the body of the sufferer. It is simply, in 
a word, the repetition of what was done again and 
again during the earthly ministry of our Lord, the 
bringing of the sick to Jesus for healing and cleans- 
ing. " Why look ye so earnestly on us, as though 
by our own power or holiness we had made this 
man to walk ? " asks Peter of those who were won- 
dering at the miracle at the Beautiful Gate. If it 
were a question of human power or holiness we 
might be quite ready to relegate the gifts of heal- 
ing to the apostolic age, confessing our utter lack 
of these qualifications. But since it is a question 
of the power and holiness of "Jesus Christ, the 
same yesterday, to-day, and forever," it is quite 
another matter. " If thou canst believe " is the ques- 
tion now. " A year famous for believing," is the 


language in which Romaine designated a certain 
unusual twelvemonth of his ministry. If such a 
year should be graciously injected into the calen- 
dar of any Christian life it would be a year of 
Success. For believing is knowing God and find- 
rig the depths of power and privilege that are 
nidden for us in him : and " the people that do 
know their God shall be strong and do exploits " 
says the scripture.* 

Now, there have been some in our day who have 
had faith to take the Lord at his word in connec- 
tion with the promises of healing. And having, 
as they believed, proved him, and found him faith- 
ful, their testimony will be deeply instructive to 
our readers. 

Dorothea Trudel is a name especially honored 
in this relation. The story of her life and labors 
in connection with the home for invalids in the 
Swiss village of Mannedorf on Lake Zurich has 
been very widely read, and has caused great 
searchings of heart in many who have pondered 
it.f The Lord provides deep roots when there 
are to be wide-spreading branches. And this life 
whose boughs 60 ran over the wall, and stretched 

•Dm. ii : ja. 
t Dorothea Trudel, or The Prayer of Faith. London : Morgan and Scott. 


beyond the bounds of ordinary service, was un- 
usually rooted and established. 

The mother from whom she received her birth and 
early training was so remarkable for her faith and 
consecration that, though living in the utmost 
obscurity and poverty, her biography has been 
placed among those of the illustrious Christian 
women of the ages.* The wife of a brutal and 
godless husband, and so cut off from human sym- 
pathy that there was none but God to whom she 
could appeal in her need, she was schooled by 
this bitter tuition into a life of faith and absolute 
dependence on God. She looked to Him for food 
for her family when they must otherwise have 
starved ; for deliverance when they must other- 
wise have perished ; for healing when they must 
otherwise have died. Dorothea grew up with per- 
petual exhibitions before her eye of the Lord's 
restoring of the sick for a poor household which 
could employ no other physician. The faith which 
it is so difficult for us to recover was her native in- 
heritance. Hence what we doubt so painfully 
whether we may do, she bitterly condemned her- 

* Consecrated Women. London: Hodder and Stoughten. 


self for not doing when she had subsequently 
neglected it. 

After her parents had died we find her engaged 
in labors of love among the working people ; teach- 
ing them the gospel, and seeking to lead them to 
the Saviour. How her personal use of the prayer 
of faith begun in connection with these labors she 
tells in the following words : 

" Four of them fell ill, and, as each could do as 
he pleased, all four summoned a doctor. It was 
remarked, however, that they got worse after 
taking the medicine, until, at last, the necessity 
became so pressing that / went as a worm to the 
Lord, and laid our distress before him. I told him 
how willingly I would send for an elder, as is com- 
manded in James v., but, as there was not one, I 
must go to my sick ones in the faith of the Canaan- 
it is h woman, and, without trusting to any vittue in 
my hand, I would lay it upon them. I did so, and, 
by the Lo>d's blessing, all four recovered. Most 
powerfully then did the sin of disobeying God's 
word strike me, and most vividly did the simple 
life of faith, the carrying out just what God orders, 
stand before me." 

Soon after she gave herself wholly to the Mas- 
ter's work ; and as the effects of her evangel- 
istic efforts, and the answers to her earnest pray- 
ers were noticed, she was importuned to receive 
patients into her house. Consenting reluctantly 


the life-work thus began, from which was to flow 
such a blessing to the souls and bodies of men. 

Her methods were very simple : the Bible and 
prayer were her medicines. She dealt with the 
soul first, using every effort to bring it to faith and 
obedience to the Gospel ; she prayed for the body, 
laying hands on the sick and anointing them with 
oil in the name of the Lord. In all this she rec- 
ognized the necessity of the most absolute conse- 
cration on her part and that of her helpers, and of 
the most surrendering faith on the part of the 
sick. Very beautifully does she thus speak of the 
believer's privilege : — 

" In the New Testament we are called kings, and 
priests. Power accompanied the anointing of the 
kings, and if we really belong to the kingly 
priesthood shall not strength to heal the sick by 
prayer come on us also through the anointing of 
the Spirit? If we only wear our Levite dress, and 
are consecrated in soul and body — if we are only 
prepared to be vessels of his grace — it is his part 
to bless. Oh, that we were willing not to do more 
than God would have us do, then would this day 
be one of great reviving to us ! " 

Thus her work was inaugurated, and thus was 

she inducted by unseen hands into her remarkable 




Rarely have we traced the story of a life whose 
consecration was so even and unreserved. Among 
the sayings which she left on record is this. ' ' The 
heart ought not to be an inn where the Lord some- 
times comes, but a home where he always abides." 
It was her calling for many years to keep an inn 
where the sick could lodge, a hospice into which 
the suffering and distracted wanderer could turn 
for solace. These came and went with the recur- 
ring months, but so constantly was the Lord abiding 
with her, that it might be said according to Luth- 
er's beautiful simile that the way-farer coming 
and knocking at her heart and asking " who lives 
here ? " would hear the instant answer from within, 
"Jesus Christ." Not that she ever claimed as 
much ; for none was ever more humble and self de- 
preciatory ; but her life declared it. It comes out 
in her biography that her prayers were sometimes 
prolonged into midnight : that her soul so wrought 
with intense desire that often the sweat would 
stand in beads upon her forehead. Once in busy 
labors among the sick she passed the whole day 
without food, utterly forgetting the claims of na- 
'.ure in her absorbing devotion to her work ; and 
\l»»u finding it impossible to get food on account of 


the lateness of the hour she falls at Jesus' feet, 
and begs for that meat that the world knows not 
of, and is so refreshed and filled that she goes all 
night in the strength of it. 

Such rare and Christ-like consecration has always 
proved an apt soil for the manifestation of the mi- 
raculous ; especially when chastened and fertilized 
by bitter persecutions. And this token which the 
Scripture promises to " all who will live godly in 
Christ Jesus " was not wanting to her, as the spirit 
to endure it with unresenting meekness was not 
wanting. "I have had enemies," she writes "both 
known and unknown in crowds ; and thickly scat- 
tered falsehoods and slanders were no pleasant por- 
tion. I write this with the feeling that whoever 
cannot bear, without emotion, even the blackest 
falsehoods and slanders has yet to experience 
something of the peace of God which is like an 
ocean without bounds." Medical men and others 
conceived great hostility to her, and sought to con- 
vict her of mal-practice in the courts ; though it 
was shown in testimony that most of her patients 
were such as had spent all their living upon physi- 
cians only to be made worse ; and that the only 


medicine she employed was prayer. Speaking of 

this adversity she says : — 

" But a storm was now to burst over the work ; 
for in 1856 when the second house was filled with 
invalids, and the Lord was working mightily we 
were fined sixty francs, and were ordered to send 
away all the patients by a certain time. Though 
it was the most grevious day of my life I obeyed 
the command ; but the houses so hastily emptied, 
filled as fast as ever with the blind, the lame, and 
the deaf, for whom the Lord did great things. 
Evil spirits were cast out of some of the invalids 
by prayer, and the sufferer became instantly free. 
Many were delivered from the power of darkness 
which had been exercised over their minds, though 
less visibly and outwardly and received what we 
consider the highest and best blessing, that of 
being changed from wolves into lambs." 

In 1 861 a second persecution was raised against 
this most saintly and inoffensive woman. At the 
instigation of a physician, the magistrates imposed 
a heavy fine upon her, and ordered her patients to 
be sent away. Then, through appeal to a higher 
tribunal, her case was brought into court, and the 
world was made acquainted through the testimo- 
ny of scores of living witnesses, with the won- 
derful work which God had wrought through her 

Mr. Spondlin an eminent advocate of Zurich 


volunteered to conduct her case; Prelate Von 
Kopff, Prof. Tholuck and many others were wit- 
nesses on her behalf, and the result was that she 
was fully acquitted and left undisturbed in her gra- 
cious work. Henceforth her house which had too 
often through the malice of enemies been a Betha- 
ven " house of affliction," became only a Bethesda 
"house of mercy." If her own simple record, 
confirmed by the word of scores who bore testi- 
mony at her trial, could prove that miracles of heal- 
ing were wrought in her house, the fact must be 
considered as established. 

With a deep conviction that sin is often the hid- 
den root of sickness, she dealt most earnestly with 
the souls of her patients. "Confess your faults 
one to another and pray one for another that ye 
may be healed" was an injunction that had a deeply 
practical meaning to her, and often conviction and 
conversion were the first symptoms of physical 

" On one occasion a young artisan arrived, in 
whom cancer had made such progress as to render 
any approach to him almost unbearable. At the 
Bible lessons this once frivolous man, now an ear- 
nest inquirer, learned where the improvement 
must begin ; and from the day that he confessed 
his sins against God and man, the disease abated 


Some time afterwards he acknowledged one sin he 
had hitherto concealed, and then he speedily re- 
covered his bodily health and returned to his home 
cured in spirit also." 

In some instances her prayers and her eager 
seeking for the will of God were long continued be- 
fore any sign of recovery was manifested, in others 
healing was vouchsafed at once. 

" A lady in S. had so injured her knee by a fall, 
that for weeks she lay in the greatest agony. The 
doctor declared that dropsy would supervene, but 
the heavenly physician fulfilled those promises 
which will abide until the end of the world, and by 
prayer and the laying on of Dorothea's hands, the 
knee was cured in twenty-four hours, and the swell- 
ing vanished." 

One giving an account of her arraignment 
says : — 

" During the course of the trial, authenticated 
cures were brought forward, it is said, to the num- 
ber of some hundreds. There was one of a stiff 
knee, that had been treated in vain by the best 
physicians in France, Germany, and Switzerland; 
and one of an elderly man who could not walk, 
and had also been given up by his physicians, but 
who soon dispensed with his crutches ; a man 


came with a burned foot, and the surgeons said it 
was a case for " either amputation or death," and 
he also was cured ; one of the leading physicians 
of Wurtemburg testified to the cure of a hopeless 
patient of his own ; another remained six weeks, 
and says he saw all kinds of sicknesses healed. Can- 
cer and fever have been treated with success ; epi- 
lepsy and insanity more frequently than any other 
forms of disease." 

Such was the ministry of healing and comfort 
carried on by this holy woman till the day when 
she fell asleep in Jesus, and such was the blessed 
example which she left behind her. 

Travellers tell us of a deep and secluded lake in 
Switzerland in whose crystal mirror the reflection 
of distant mountains may be seen, though the 
mountains themselves are not visible to the eye. 
In the tranquil, hidden life of this Swiss peasant 
girl, the image of the invisible Saviour was clearly 
mirrored, and how many of those who knew her in 
life, and of those who have read the story of her 
consecration since her death have therefrom caught 
a reflected glimpse of the unseen Redeemer, and 
been quickened with new love to him, and a new 
sense of his present power. 

Samuel Zeller took up the work at Mannedorf as 
it dropped from the dead hands of sister Dorothea. 
He is the son of the founder of a well-known boys' 


reformatory at Beuggen, near Basle, and brother- 

in-law of Gobat, late bishop at Jerusalem. He 
had been a co-laborer at the home before the death 
of its founder, and with much prayer that the gifts 
of faith and of healing might rest upon him she 
had committed the work to his care. Since her 
death the institution has continued with no appar- 
ent loss of power or usefulness under his direction, 
he being aided by Miss Zeller, his sister, and by 
several devoted assistants. All the helpers, even 
to the servants, render their service as a labor of 
love, in grateful return in most cases for the re- 
covery which they have received at this home. 

Mr. Zeller is a fervent evangelist, going out in 
every direction preaching the word, as well as 
laboring " in season out of season " for the souls 
and bodies of those who come under his care. 
From two houses the home has grown to ten, and 
they are always filled with patients, from many 
nations. The same methods are employed as un- 
der his predecessor. He lays hands upon the sick ; 
he anoints with oil in the name of the Lord, and 
pleads the promise given in James, 5th chapter ; 
and his reports published year by year are full of 
striking instances alike of healing and of conver- 


He entertains no extravagant views of his 
mission. Holding most tenaciously to the per- 
petuity of the promise : " The prayer of faith 
shall save the sick" he yet strongly recognizes 
the sovereignty of God in the answer. To the 
question asked by a recent visitor, whether it is 
not God's will that all his children should be 
free from sickness, he replied that it is evidently 
the Father's will that some should overcome 
sickness, and he quoted significantly the words 
of Heb. xi. chap. : Some, " through faith, sub- 
dued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained 
promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched 
the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the 
sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed 
valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of 
the aliens ; Women received their dead raised 
to life again; and others were tortured, not 
accepting deliverance, that they might obtain 
a better resurrection. And others had trial of 
cruel mockings and scourgings, yea, moreover of 
bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, 
they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were slain 
with the sword ; they wandered about in sheep- 
skins and goat skins, being destitute, afflicted, tor- 


mented (of whom the world was not worthy) ; they 
wandered in deserts, and in mountains, and in dens 
and caves of the earth. And these all having 
obtained a good report through faith," &c. 

A visit to this home was made a few years since 
by several eminent German preachers and profes- 
sors, and when one of these was asked his opinion of 
the work he answered; "Where the Holy Spirit 
speaks with so much power, we can do no other 
wise than listen to his teaching ; critical analysis 
is out of the question." A quiet and deep spirit- 
ual life, a profound faith in the promises of God, 
and a humble and self-denying surrender to his 
word and will are the traits which have character- 
ized the work from the beginning until the present 
time. The cases of recovery at Mannedorf are so 
fully given in the report of the home that we need 
not here reproduce them. 

Pastor Blumhardt exercising his ministry in the 
small Lutheran village of Mottlingen, in the heart 
of the Black Forest in Germany is another, who 
was greatly honored of God in his prayers of faith. 
He died quite recently, but during many years 
of his active pastorate he was credited with extra- 
ordinary grace in praying for the sick. Like otlv 


ers of whom we have spoken he had the ministry 
of healing thrust upon him. He first became 
known for his unusual consecration, and for his 
zeal and ability in stirring up formal Christians to 
renewed activity. He prayed for the diseased with 
such efficacy, and such well attested cures were 
reported from his intercessions, that very soon he 
was resorted to by the suffering from every direc- 
tion. His home and neighborhood became a hos- 
pital, where not only invalids, but sorrowing and 
sin-sick souls came for counsel and help. One 
writing of him says, "as regards Blumhardt and 
his work, it may emphatically be said that the 
pleasure of the Lord prospered in his hands." He 
seems to have taken no pains to report his success, 
having evidently learned the secret that "the way 
to have a strong faith is to think nothing of your- 
self." But others praised him if not his own lips, 
and he became widely known throughout his coun- 
try as a pastor who considered the sick bodies of 
his flock to be under his ministration as well as 
the sick souls. 

We give one instance from the life of Blumhardt, 
to show the vast influence which a striking exhibi- 
tion of miraculous power may exert upon the spir- 
itual life of a people. 


On commencing his ministry in Mottlingen he 
found the place fearfully given over to infidelity 
and sensuality. As his fervent preaching began 
to tell upon the community, Satan seemed to come 
in, with great wrath to resist him. A case occurred 
in the village which exactly resembled the instances 
of demoniacal possession recorded in scripture. The 
woman thus afflicted endured the most excruciating 
agony. The Pastor being called in was quite appalled, 
having never seen anything of the kind ; and in his 
perplexity was inclined to be excused from inter- 
fering with it. But some of his brethren in the 
Church who had listened to his strong utterances 
on the subject of the prayer of faith, came to him 
saying. " If you do not wish to shake our belief 
in your preaching you cannot retreat before the 
evil one." After a moment's thought, and silent 
prayer he answered : " You are right ; but to be in 
accord with the word of God you must also unite 
with me in supplication according to James v : 14." 
What followed appears from the following account 
by his friend Pastor Spittler. He says : — 

" Kindly permit me not to mention in this place 
the frightful details of her sufferings. The medi- 
cal man who attended the person was perfectly at 
a loss as to the case. He said, ' Is there no cler 


gyman in this village who can pray ? I can do 
nothing here.' The minister (Blumhardt) who had 
then the spiritual care of the village felt the force 
of such a reproach, joined as it was to that of his 
believing people. He went to the house in the 
strength of faith. The more frightful the mani- 
festations of the destroying power of Satan be- 
came, with the more unshaken faith in the all-over- 
coming power of the living God, that pastor con- 
tinued to struggle against the assaults of the 
infernal powers, till at last, after a tremendous 
outcry of the words, f Jesus is Victor ! Jesus is 
Victor ! ' heard almost throughout the whole little 
village, the person found herself freed from all the 
dreadful chains under which she had sighed so long, 
and often come to the very brink of death." 

" That voice, ' Jesus is Victor ! ' sounded like a 
trumpet of God through the village. After a 
week one man of very loose and deceitful charac- 
ter, whom the pastor on that account felt almost 
afraid of approaching, came trembling and pale to 
Blumhardt into his study, and said, ' Sir, is it then 
possible that / can be pardoned and saved ? I 
have not slept for a whole week, and if my heart 
be not eased, it will kill me.' He made an aston- 
ishing confession of iniquity, which for the first 
time opened the pastor's eyes to the multitude and 
enormity of sins prevailing among the people. 
The pastor prayed with him and put Christ before 
him, in his readiness to pardon even the vilest of 
sinners that would come to him for mercy. When 
the man seemed completely cast down and almost 
in despair, Blumhardt found it his duty, as an am- 
bassador of Christ, solemnly to assure him of God's 
mercy in Jesus Christ ; and lo ! immediately his 


countenance was changed, beaming with joy and 

"The first thing which the man now did was to 
go to his fellow-sinners, from cottage to cottage, 
and tell them what he had just experienced. First 
they were astonished, and could not understand 
it; yet they saw the marvellous change in him. 
He urged them to go to the minister about their 
souls ; some he even dragged as it were in triumph 
to the manse, till about twenty persons were in the 
same way convinced of sin, and found grace and 
forgiveness in Jesus."* 

Then follows the account of a most gracious and 
wide-spread revival. The whole village became a 
Bochim. With tears and lamentations the people 
came confessing their sins, and inquiring the way 
of escape from the wrath of God that was resting 
upon them. The Pastor's house was besieged from 
morning to night with penitents, so that within 
two months, as he declared, there were not twenty 
persons in the place who had not come to him be- 
wailing their sins and finding peace in Jesus 
Christ. The transformation which resulted was 
hardly less wonderful than that which occurred 
in Kidderminster under the preaching of Richard 
Baxter. The story gives a most striking indica- 
tion of what might result even now, under the 
preaching of the gospel "with signs following." 

* PMtor BlumhawU and His Work. — London. Morgan and Scott. 


" The soul is the life of the body ; faith is the 
life of the soul ; Christ is the life of faith " — so 
wrote the good John Flavel ; and thus he traced 
very obviously and directly the course through 
which Christ the Redeemer acts upon the human 

Pastor Otto Stockmayer might be fitly named, 
the theologian of the doctrine of healing by faith. 
He has given some very subtle, not to say bold and 
startling expositions of the relation of sin and sick- 
ness. " The soul is the life of the body," and the 
Lord does not intend that his saving and sanctifying 
ministry shall stop with the regeneration and re- 
newal of the soul, is Stockmayer's strongly asserted 
doctrine. Attaching great weight to the words of 
Scripture which declare that Christ, "healed all 
that were sick that it might be fulfilled which was 
spoken by Esaias the prophet saying, himself took 
our infirmities and bare our sicknesses" he rea- 
sons that if our Redeemer bore our sicknesses it 
is not his will that his children should remain un- 
der the power of disease, any more than that 
having borne our sins it is his will that they should 
remain under condemnation and disobedience. He 
says: — 


" Once understanding that it is not the will of God 
that his children should be sick (James v: 14-18), 
and that Christ has redeemed us from our sickness 
as from our sins, (Matt viii: 16, 17), we can no 
longer look upon healing as a right which it would 
be lawful for us to renounce. It is no longer a 
question whether we wish to be healed, God's will 
must be fulfilled in our bodies as well as in our 
souls. Our beloved Lord must not be robbed of a 
part of the heritage of his agony. 

It is by virtue of a divine will that the offering 
of the body of Jesus Christ has sanctified us (Heb. 
x: 10), which means that Christ by his death has 
withdrawn the members of our body, with our 
entire being, from every sacrilegious end or use. 
He has regained and consecrated them for his own 
exclusive and direct use. 

Wrested by Christ's ransom from all foreign 
power, from the power of sin or of sickness or of 
the devil, our members must remain intact, sur- 
rendered to him who has redeemed them. 

"Let my people go " was God's word to Pharaoh, 
and such is God's command to sin and sickness, 
and to Satan : " Let my people go that they may 
serve me. 

Thus God's children must not seek the healing 
of the body without taking at the same time by 
faith, all the new position which Christ's redemp- 
tion gives us — and which is expressed in these 
words of Moses to Pharaoh: or better still in 
Paul's words (2 Cor. v: 14, 15), which amounts to 
this — Nothing more for self, but all for Christ. 
Before seeking freedom from sickness we must lay 
hold of the moral freedom which the Redemption 
of Christ has obtained for us, and by which we arc 


cut off from any self-seekiag : from the seeking of 
our own will, our own life, our own interests, or 
our own glory. Our members are henceforth 
Christ's, and neither for ourselves or for our mem- 
bers, but for Christ and for his members we desire 
health. We knew none other but Christ." 

This in brief is the doctrine of Pastor Stock- 
mayer as set forth in a tract entitled "Sickness and 
the Gospel,"* which has passed through many edi- 
tions and been very widely read. As the minister 
of a Christian flock his practice has conformed to 
his teaching. He has used the same methods as 
those employed at Mannedorf ; and he has now a 
home in Hauptwiel Thurgan Switzerland for the 
reception of such as desire to be healed through 

Pastor Rein is another of the same group of 
primitive teachers and ministers. He was greatly 
esteemed while living, and it is only a few years 
since he fell asleep. He began his service in 
the gospel as a decided formalist. But shutting 
himself up to the Bible and determining to shape 
his ministry rigidly by its teachings without regard 
to tradition, a great change came over him. He 
now abandoned the habit of reading prayers at the 
bedside of the sick, and began to pour out petf 

* Partridge and Co., I/andou. 


tions directly from the heart. Later he felt con- 
strained to use the practise of laying hands on 
them while praying, according to the word of the 
Lord in Mark xvi Still later he began to anoint 
with oil in the name of the Lord in connection 
with his praying for the sick, carrying out strictly 
the directions given in the Epistle of James. His 
ministry seems to have been as conspicuous for its 
humility as for its zeal and consecration ; and dili- 
gent care for the welfare of others so marked his 
course, that he may be said to have illustrated the 
maxim that " true humility consists not so much 
in thinking meanly of ourselves as in not thinking 
of ourselves at all." 

From a very tender tribute to his life which 
recently appeared we make the following extract : * 

"When sick people were brought to him he re- 
ceived them as sent by the Lord. Much blessing 
and consolation was found in the silence and retire- 
ment of the simple cure of Pastor Rein. He loved 
to work for the kingdom of God in self-renuncia- 
tion, and always in silence, without show, and he 
always shrank from being spoken of. Oh how 
blessed it is when the word of God accompanied 
with prayer is used as the medicine of the body as 
well as soul. 

Rein never employed a doctor, believing in 

• See Israel's Watchman, Aug. 187& 


the words of Exodus xv : 26. " I am the Lord that 
healeth thee," or as it is in many translations " I 
am the Lord thy physician. When he was ill the 
elders of his Church or his friends laid hands on 
him, and prayed over him, and he was always bet- 
ter than if he had taken medicine ; he was kept in 
a greater calm, and his communion with God was 
not interrupted by the doctors' visits, and by the 
continual occupation of punctually following their 
directions. He lived in such intimate relation with 
God that he asked him for all he wanted, the great- 
est and the least things alike. This was why he 
could not except even healing, and he shrunk from 
seeking any help but that which came directly 
from God. 

He was jealous for God that he alone should 
have the glory. That which grieved him deeply 
was to see how little glory is given to God in gene- 
ral, and especially in the cure of illness, which is 
attributed generally to doctors or to medicine. 
Thus he would not allow any remedy to come be- 
tween him and his God, and he rejoiced with all 
his heart when he saw others leave the old track 
of this world's laws of prudence, to follow the path 
of an obedient and unreserved faith. 

When he prayed over and laid hands on the sick 
he watched attentively for a knowledge of God's 
will regarding the person whom he was occu- 
pied with, and always besought him to reveal t<? 
him, whether the sickness was unto death, or 
whether it was rather a merciful visitation, sent to 
lead the subject of it to reflection; and he prayed 

This confidence in God, which made him re- 
nounce all human means in illness, caused him to 


be much criticised. But we must say to his honor, 
that Rein was extremely charitable towards others, 
never seeking to put a yoke upon them or to lay 
down the law to them, in that which he looked 
upon as a permission, a precious grace from on 

He never regarded it as a sin in any one to take 
medicine, or to consult a doctor, when they had 
not the special faith to do without them ; a faith 
which very precious as it is, is not necessary for 
salvation. Who can find fault with such as de- 
clare, like Rein, that they cannot do otherwise than 
commit themselves solely to God in all things, 
even for bodily health, and that they esteem as 
happy those who can do the same. 

He was actuated by a holy jealousy, when he 
heard the signs which should follow them that 
believe, (Mark xvi : 17, 18), spoken of as belong- 
ing only to Apostolic times, instead of its being 
recognized, that it is owing to the decline of faith 
that these signs no longer exist. It has been said 
that " Faith is God's power placed at mans dispo- 
sition." So he believed, and on this principle he 

Several interesting incidents of recovery under 
his prayers are given in connection with this sketch 
of his life, but they are of the same type as those 
elsewhere recorded, and we will not reproduce 

Among other Evangelists and pastors abroad, 
who hold the same faith and practice as these we 
may mention Lord Radstock of England. A very 


devoted and deeply spiritual man he is known to 
be by all who have come in contact with him. 
And many who have never seen him have read 
with interest of his evangelistic work among 
the higher ranks especially in Russia and Sweden. 
Writing to the London "Christian" concerning 
his work in the latter country, he sends reports of 
several very striking instances of cure in answer 
to prayer and says : — 

" One interesting feature of the Lord's grace in 
Stockholm is the obedience of faith with which 
several pastors and elder brethren have accepted 
their privilege of anointing the sick and praying 
over them in the name of the Lord. There have 
been many remarkable instances of God's gracious 
healing. I enclose details of a few cases, that 
God's children may be encouraged to see that God 
Vias not withdrawn the promise in James v : 15, 
and that it is better to trust in the Lord than to 
put confidence in man." 

In America there are several homes for healing 
conducted on the same principle as that of Miss 
Trudel. Quite a number of them are under the 
direction of pious women, who have learned the 
secret of the prayer of faith. We have only space 
to refer to one work which is most widely known 
through its published reports, and of which, from 


his near neighborhood to it, the writer has had an 
excellent opportunity to judge. 

Dr. Charles Cullis is at the head of what is 
known as the "Faith- work" in the City of Boston 
The work has many branches, the Consumptive's 
Home; the Willard Tract Repository; homes foi 
children; city mission work; foreign missionary 
work; schools among the freedmen, etc., all main- 
tained upon the same principle virtually as the 
orphan work of Pastor George Muller, at Bristol 
in England. Any one who has been made ac- 
quainted with a single department of this enter- 
prise, as for example, that of the Consumptive's 
Home, can have no doubt as to the most beneficent 
and Christ-like character of the labors there carried 

Dr. Cullis has for several years been accustomed 
when applied to, to minister to the sick in the 
manner above described. And there are among 
us many unimpeachable witnesses to the answers 
which have been granted for the recovery from 
disease. The writer is well acquainted with quite 
a number of these, some of several years' standing, 
and has no hesitation in saying that they bear 
every evidence of genuineness. How Dr. Cullis 


was led to exercise this ministry is best told in his 
own words which we extract from his published 
report called " Faith cures." 

"For several years my mind had been exercised 
before God as to whether it was not his will that 
the work of faith in which he had placed me, 
should extend to the cure of disease, as well as 
the alleviation of the miseries of the afflicted. I 
often read the instructions and promise contained 
in the fourteenth and fifteenth verses of the fifth 
chapter of the epistle of James." 

They seemed so very plain, that I often asked of 
my own heart, why, if I can rely on God's word, 
"whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I 
do," and every day verify its truth in the supply of 
the daily needs of the various work committed to 
my care, — why can not I also trust him to fulfil 
his promises as to the healing of the body. " The 
prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord 
shall raise him up ? I could not see why with 
such explicit and unmistakable promises, I should 
limit the present exercise of God's power. I be- 
gan to inquire of earnest Christians whether they 
knew of any instances of answer to prayer for the 
healing of the body. Soon afterwards the "Life of 
Dorothea Trudell" fell into my hands, which 
strengthened my convictions, and the inquiry 
arose, "If God can perform such wonders in Man- 
nedorf, why not in Boston ? " 

At this time I had under my professional care 
a Christian lady, with a tumor which confined her 
almost continuomsly to her bed in severe suffering. 
All remedies were unavailing, and the only human 
hope was the knife : but feeling in my heart the 


power of the promise, I one morning sat down by 
her bedside, and taking up the Bible, I read aloud 
God's promise to his believing children ; " and the 
prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord 
shall faise him up ; and if he have cotnmitted sins, 
they shall be forgiven him** 

" I then asked her if she would trust the Lord to 
remove this tumor and restore her to health, and 
to her missionary work. She replied ' I have no 
particular faith about it, but am willing to trust the 
Lord for it.' 

I then knelt and anointed her with oil in the 
name of the Lord, asking him to fulfil his own 
word. Soon after I left, she got up and walked 
three miles. From that time the tumor rapidly 
lessened, until all trace of it at length disappeared. ' 

The work thus begun has gone on now, for quite 
a number of years, and we think there can be no 
reasonable doubt that in Boston as well as in Man- 
nedorf and in Mottlingen there has been a living 
and repeated demonstration that God is still pleased 
to recover the sick directly and manifestly in an- 
swer to his people's intercessions. 

If these things be so, can any say that we have 
not reason to praise God and rejoice with new joy 
in him : — 

"Who forgiveth all thine iniquities, 
Who healeth all thy diseases.?" 

"Any explanation but the admission of the mi- 
raculous " is the cry which an unbelieving world 


raises when anything wonderful happens. And 
Christians more solicitous for their caution than for 
their faith, have sometimes joined in the cry. And 
thus the seal of the supernatural has been assidu- 
ously witheld we fear, where it should have been 
permitted to place its impress and testimony. But 
we do not, so much call attention to these instances 
of healing as to these examples of faith. There 
may be mistakes in the estimates put upon the 
cures, but can there be any in the sure word of 
promise ? If any of these testimonies of recovery 
should prove ill-founded, it would only demonstrate 
the ignorance of men. But God hath in the last 
days spoken to us by his Son and "he that receiveth 
his testimony hath set to his seal that God is true** 



" One thing I know, that whereas I was blind J 
now see." This confession of experience has al- 
ways been regarded as the strongest that can be 
made. The " I know " indeed may seem to savor 
of egotism and assurance. But let us not forget 
that while the egotism of opinion is always offen- 
sive, the egotism of experience can never be re- 
buked. It is the highest attainment of mere 
human thought and speculation to know that one 
does not know. Hence very fittingly we have the 
culture of our age graduating in agnosticism, 
which is knowledge culminating in ignorance, as 
the highest mountain peaks are lost in the clouds. 
On the other hand, when we read the opening 
words of John's first epistle, "That which we have 
heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which 
we have looked upon, and our hands have handled 
of the word of life," we are not surprised at the 
writer's constant use of the words " we know," or 
that he is able to say "Hereby we do know that we 
know him" 


Experience is the surest touch-stone of truth. 
It is not always infallible, indeed ; especially 
when it deals with our spiritual states and 
conditions. For these are often deceptive and 
difficult to interpret. But certainly one ought to 
know when an infirmity which has long oppressed 
the body has been removed, or when a pain that 
has incessantly tortured the nerves has ceased. 
This is a kind of testimony which is not easily 
ruled out of court. 

And there are many who stand ready to give in 
this witness. Ought we to refuse to hear it, or to 
dismiss it as visionary and idle talk? We are 
quite accustomed to accept what we call a religious 
experience as a test of fitness for church member- 
ship. Is it less difficult to recognize and interpret 
a physical experience? 

Let us listen to the statements of some who 
have told the story of their bodily healing. We 
cite as our first example that of Miss Fancourt, of 
London, the daughter of an English clergyman, 
whose case created no small interest at the time of 
its publication. 

The story of her sickness is too long to be given 
in detail. Suffice it to say that she was attacked 


with severe hip disease in Nov., 1822. From this 
date till 1828 she was a constant sufferer, not only 
from the disease itself, but from the varied oper- 
ations of leeches, blisters, bleedings, and cuttings 
of the surgeon's knife, and all to no effect. From 
this period onward for two years she was a helpless 
cripple, for most of the time confined to her bed. 
The story of her recovery we give in her owr 
words : 

"Thus it continued till the 20th of October, 
1830, when a kind friend who had seen me about 
two months before had been led by God to pray 
earnestly for my recovery, remembering what is 
written, ' Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, be* 
lieving, ye shall receive.' He asked in faith, and 
God graciously answered his prayer. On Wednes- 
day night, my friend being about to leave the 
room, Mr. J. begged to be excused a short time. 
Sitting near me, we talked of his relations and of 
the death of his brother ; rising, he said : ' they 
will expect me at supper,' and put out his hand. 
After asking some questions respecting the dis- 
ease, he added, . ' it is melancholy to see a person 
so constantly confined.' I answered ' it is sent in 
mercy.' ' Do you think so ? Do you not think 
the same mercy could restore you ? ' God gave 
me faith and I answered 'yes.' ' Do you believe 
Jesus could heal, as in old times?' 'Yes.' 'Do 
you believe it is only unbelief that prevents it ? ' 
' Yes.' ' Do you believe that Jesus could heal you 
at this very time ? ' ' Yes, —Between these ques- 


tions he was evidently engaged in prayer. — 'Then ' 
he added, ' rise up and walk : come down to your 
family.' He then had hold of my hand ; he prayed 
to God to glorify the name of Jesus. I rose from 
my couch quite strong. God took away all my 
pains, and we walked down stairs, Mr. J. praying 
most fervently, ' Lord have mercy upon us ; Christ 
have mercy on us.' Having been down a short 
time, finding my handkerchief left on the couch, 
taking the candle I fetched it. The next day I 
walked more than a quarter of a mile ; and on 
Sunday from the Episcopalian chapel, a distance 
of one mile and a quarter. Up to this time God 
continues to strengthen me, and I am perfectly 
well. To Jesus be all the glory. Nov. 13, 1830."* 

We have the added information that this long 

suffering invalid continued to be well, and that the 

story of her healing, so soon as it went abroad, 

drew down upon her and her family a most violent 

storm of ridicule and obloquy. By the religious 

press which took up the matter the story was 

treated as a gross scandal upon the Christian faith, 

and so bitter were the reflections upon the parties 

involved that the venerable father of the lady, 

though hitherto a confessed disbeliever in modern 

miracles, felt called upon to publish his emphatic 

confirmation of the story. The following is the 

statement of Rev. Mr. Fancourt : 

* Mrs. Oliphant's Life of Edward Irving, p. 461, 


"Under this peculiar dispensation of mercy 
there rests on ray mind a solemn conviction that 
the glory of God and the interest of religion are 
deeply involved in the publicity which it will prob- 
ably acquire. But without shrinking from the re- 
sponsibility attached to the declaration, I profess 
myself ready to bear my open testimony to a 
notable fact, namely; that as I view it God has 
raised an impotent cripple, in the person of my 
youngest daughter, to instantaneous soundness of her 
bodily limbs by faith in the name of Jesus, being 
taught by her mother church to know and feel that 
there is none other name under heaven given to 
man in whom and through whom she could receive 
health and salvation, but only the name of our 
Lord Jesus Christ. In this faith, through the 
instrumentality of the effectual fervent prayer of 
a righteous man (for God heareth not sinners), 
which availeth much, God has done exceeding 
abundantly above all that we could ask or think. 
I am aware that there are questions of difficult 
solution as to the instrumentality by which the 
benefit has been bestowed ; but who would not 
tremble at the fearful conclusion which would re- 
sult from a denial of the divine interposition ? 
Deprecating such a thought, I feel persuaded that 
they are most on the side of truth and soberness 
who unite with us in telling the church that God 
hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad, 
which in their first communication made us like 
them that dream." 

We cannot help pausing upon the lesson sug- 
gested by this incident. Strange, it might be said, 
that the sufferer should be grudged her releas* 


from pain and helplessness. If a supernatural 
cure could not be admitted, it would seem that at 
least none would envy her the harmless illusion. 
Yet has it not been so from the beginning ? " We 
must admit any solution rather than a miracle," 
said the "Christian Observer," commenting on 
this cure. And we remember that the wise Jews 
said about the healing of another cripple, "that 
indeed a notable miracle has been done by them 
is manifest to all them that dwell in Jerusalem, 
and we cannot deny it" as if to say "we have done 
our best to disprove it." Evidently our Lord an- 
ticipated this treatment of miracles of healing 
when he introduced them ; for he said "Go and show 
John again those things which ye do hear and see : 
the blind receive their sight and the lame walk, 
the lepers are cleansed and the deaf hear, the dead 
are raised up, and the poor have the Gospel 
preached to them. And blessed is he whosoever 
shall not be offended in me." — The last thing, it 
would seem, at which the world should take of- 
fence. That the prison doors should be opened, 
and light and sound be let in upon poor immured 
and darkened souls; that lame feet wearily 
dragged by bodies which they were made to bear 


op should be rendered whole and elastic by the 
healer's touch ; that lepers should be released from 
their ghastly malady, and the dead be given back 
to their friends, — Are these events that should 
give offence ? Alas I at what antipodes man's 
anger often stands to Christ's. The rulers of the 
synagogue " answered with indignation " because 
on the Sabbath day the Lord had healed a suffer- 
ering woman whom Satan had bound for eighteen 
years. Once we hear of the mighty indignation 
of Christ. At the tomb of Lazarus, Jesus was " in- 
dignant in spirit," for so they tell us the words 
mean. He saw the masterpiece of the devil, 
whose works he had come to destroy, spread out 
before him — death and the tears, the anguish and 
the groans that follow in death's train ; and his 
soul was stirred to holy wrath within him. Do wc 
well to be angry at the suggestion that even now 
the Lord of life may snatch from sickness, death's 
forerunner, those upon whom he has laid his hand ? 
We give the following instance which we find 
recorded and strongly indorsed by an eminent 
Baptist minister of the last century, Rev. Morgan 
Edwards, of New Jersey. We reproduce the story 
of the " miracle," as he names it in his own some- 


what quaint and old-fashioned phraseology. It is 

in regard to Hannah Carman, who, he says, died in 

Brunswick, N. J., 1776. He says : 

" Of her I received the following piece of his- 
tory, so well attested that the skeptic himself can 
have nothing to gainsay. I have before me three 
certificates of the fact, and the testimony of Squire 
N. Stout's lady, who was present at the time of the 
miracle. She was remarkable for piety and good 
sense from a child. About the 25 th year of her 
age she got a fall from a horse, which so hurt her 
back that she was bowed down and could in no 
wise lift up herself. Her limbs were also so 
affected that she was a perfect cripple, not able 
to walk nor to help herself in the smallest matters. 
One day the young woman who had the care of her 
(now Squire Stout's lady), seated her in an elbow 
chair, and went to the garden. She had not been 
long in the garden before she heard a rumbling 
noise in the house. She hastened in, thinking that 
the cripple had tumbled out of her chair ; but how 
was she surprised and frightened to see the cripple 
in the far end of the room praising God who had 
made her whole every whit. Miss Ketcham (for 
that was the name of Squire N. Stout's lady, from 
whom I had the narrative) sent to her neighbor 
Bray (the signer of one of my certificates) who 
came in haste, and was equally astonished, for the 
cripple was all the while in an ecstacy, taking no 
notice of the company, but running about the 
house, moving chairs and tables from place to 
place, going to her bedroom, taking up her bed 
and walking about with it, and every now and then 
falling on her knees to praise God, who had made 


whole a daughter of Abraham, who had been 
bowed down for ten or a dozen years. It has 
been observed before that the cripple was alone in 
the house when the miraculous event occurred. 
The manner thereof must have come from herself, 
and was as follows : ■ While I was musing on 
these words, ./Eneas, Jesus Christ maketh the© 
whole, I could not help breathing out my heart 
and my soul in the following manner : O that I 
had been in ./Eneas' place ! Upon that I heard an 
audible voice saying, Arise, take up thy bed and 
walk ! The suddenness of the voice made me 
start in my chair ; but how was I astonished to 
find my back strengthening and my limbs recover- 
ing their former use in that start. I got up, and 
to convince myself that it was a reality and not a 
vision, I lifted up my chair and whatever came in 
my way : went to my room and took up my bed, 
and put my strength to other trials, till I was con- 
vinced that the cure was real, and not a dream or 
delusion.' " 

Edwards adds : 

" I doubt not but some witlings will find pleas- 
antry in this story. Let them ; and be their pleas- 
antry their reward. But whoever believes in the 
power of ejaculatory prayer will be benefited by 
it." * 

The witlings it would seem then made sport of 
this story of healing, as of the one just before re- 
ferred to. But, considering the eminent character 
of the man who vouches for it, and the certificates 

* Material* for History of the Baptku iu New JtTMjr, 1791, p. 63. 


to the truth of the narrative of which he speaks, 
is there not a fair presumption at least in favor of 
its genuineness ? We shall be regarded as very sim- 
ple, no doubt, for having reproduced the tale, but 
no matter ; simplicity is one of the soft and form- 
ative stages of all true faith. The first announce- 
ments of the resurrection were deemed as " idle 
tales " by those who heard them, and had it not 
been for the credulity of the simple-minded women 
who first reported this miracle we might not soon 
have had the faith of the strong-minded men, who 
afterwards preached it. Prof. Godet, alluding to 
alleged miracles among the French Protestants 
which have precisely the same kind of document- 
ary evidence in their favor, strongly refuses to 
pronounce against them, and quotes with approval 
the following weighty words : " There was a time 
when men believed everything ; in our day they 
believe nothing. I think we should take a middle 
course ; we should not believe everything, but we 
ought to believe some things. For this spirit of 
incredulity and strong-mindedness answers no good 
purpose, and I have not discovered its use. Is it 
possible that God has so hidden himself behind the 
creatures of his hand and under the veil of second- 


ary causes that he will never lift the curtain at all ? 
Let us conclude that the credulity of our ancesters 
caused many fictions to be received as good his- 
tory, but also that incredulity causes good history 
to pass in our day for worthless stories."* 

The following narrative of a well known phy- 
sician, Dr. R of Philadelphia, is certainly very 

striking. It is given in his own words as published 
in " The Great Physician," by Dr. Boardman. 
Being asked to give an account of the recovery of 
his son, Dr. R said : 

" I do not like to speak of it to people generally, 
they are so unbelieving ; but I can tell you. The 
children were jumping off from a bench, and my 
little son fell and broke both bones of his arm be- 
low the elbow. My brother, who is a professor of 
surgery in the College at Chicago, was here on a 
visit. I asked him to set and dress the arm. He 
did so ; put it in splints, bandages, and in a sling. 
The child was very patient, and went about with- 
out a murmur all that day. The next morning he 
came to me and said, ' Dear papa, please take off 
these things.' ' Oh, no, my son ! you will have to 
wear these things five or six weeks before it will 
be well.' ' Why, papa, it is well.' ' Oh, no, my 
dear child, that is impossible.' 'Why, papa, you 
believe in prayer, don't you?' 'You know I do, 
my son.' 'Well, last night when I went to bed it 
hurt me very bad, and I asked Jesus to make it 
well, and he did make it well, and it is well.' 

* Defence of the Chrktian Faith, p. 88. 


I did not like to say a word to chill his faith. A 
happy thought came ; I said, * My dear child, your 
uncle put the things on, and if they are taken off 
he must do it.' Away he went to his uncle, who 
told him he would have to go as he was six or 
seven weeks, and must be very patient ; and when 
the little fellow told him that Jesus had made him 
well, he said, ' Pooh ! pooh ! nonsense/ and sent 
him away. The next morning the poor boy came 
again to me, and plead with so much sincerity 
and confidence that I more than half believed that 
he was really healed, and went to my brother and 
said, ' Had you not better undo his arm and let 
him see for himself ? then he will be satisfied. If 
you do not, I fear, though he is very obedient, he 
may be tempted to undo it himself, and then it 
may be worse for him.' My brother yielded, took 
off the bandages and splints, and exclaimed, ' It is 
well, absolutely well,' and hastened to the door for 
air to keep from fainting. 

He had been a real, simple-hearted Christian, 
but in his student days wandered away ; but this 
brought him back to the Lord. Strange if it had 
not. To all this I could say nothing, if I had been 
ever so much disposed, in the way of accounting 
for it, upon any other hypothesis than that of the 
little fellow himself, that Jesus had made him 

A marvellous story, you will exclaim ; but is it 

not especially wonderful that we find the doctors 

of medicine as the witnesses to a miracle ? They 

who handle human wounds with the callous fingers 

of science, cry out, " Lo, God was in this place ! " 


while we theologians are such devotees to cause 
and effect that we fear we may commit sacrilege 
by bringing in the Cause of causes. But it may 
be that the physicians and physiologists are bolder 
than we in personalizing the mysterious agency 
which operates in the cure of sick. They call it 
the "vis mcdicatrix" as if it were "some gentle 
feminine nurse hidden from the sight, whose office 
it is to expel the poisons, knit the fractures, and 
heal the bodies." Would that we were quite as 
bold to recognize sometimes, at least, the Holy 
Spirit as our healer, and to pay that only fee which 
he requires, our open acknowledgment and thanks 
to him who has said, " I am the Lord that hea> 
eth thee." And we must express our decided con- 
viction that, on the whole, Christian physicians are 
less skeptical on the question of miraculous heal- 
ing than Christian ministers ; at least we know 
more of them in our day who have orally or in 
writing given in their adherence to this doctrine 
than of preachers and theologians. In the narrative 
next following we have the beautiful sight of the 
beloved physician spending the night in prayer 
with a few friends who have come to ask the 
recovery of his long suffering patient. In Dr. 


Boardman's book we read the tender story of 
an English physician, Dr. De Gorrequer Grif- 
feth, leaving a little patient for whom his skill 
could avail nothing, and going down by the river 
side, whither he had been wont to resort, for com- 
munion with God, and there asking and receiving 
the recovery of the child. The two persons who 
have been most largely used in praying for the 
cure of the sick in our own city are educated and 
practicing physicians. We to whom are committed 
the oracles of God, do well to see to it that we are 
not more skeptical than they to whom are entrusted 
the pharmacopoeiae of nature. 

We instance another cure, the story of which 
has been read by many, and heard by not a fevr 
from the lips of the emancipated sufferer herself. 
The remarkable history of Miss Jennie Smith o( 
Philadelphia, is rehearsed in the little book " Frow 
Baca to Beulah."* 

Her disease, so mysterious and agonizing anc 
long continued that her pastor pronounced it " a 
narrative of suffering rarely if ever equaled," cannol 
be described at length here. Suffice it to say thai 
she was a helpless cripple for about sixteen years. 
suffering much of the time the extremest agony, 

* Garriguos Bros. Philadelphia : 1880. 


One limb was subject to such violent and uncon- 
trollable spasms that it had to be confined in a 
strong box, and often held down by heavy weights. 
During her extraordinary sufferings her faith and 
consecration seem to have been brought into very 
lively exercise, so that making her couch a pulpit, 
she was greatly used for quickening the spiritual 
life of such as came within her reach. Meantime 
she began to lay hold of the promise of God for 
bodily healing, and getting tokens of his power in 
several partial reliefs, she was led on to ask and ob- 
tain entire recovery. The story of this we give in 
her own words. After a day of unusual suffering 
a few Christian friends had gathered about her in 
the evening as she lay in her extension chair. She 

"The evening was devoted to prayer, led by 
pastor Everett. After the first hour or more, some 
were obliged to leave. One brother, whom I had 
not met before, as he shook hands on leaving, said, 
* My sister, you are asking too much ; you are too 
anxious to get well. The Lord can make better 
use of you upon your cot than upon your feet.' I 
was thankful for the brother's words. I then 
looked searchingly into my heart. The blessed Lord 
knows I honestly answered, ' No, I am not anx- 
ious to get well ; I have gained the victory over 
that. If the heat of the furnace was increased a 
thousand fold I could say, Thy will be done, and 


to feel pain would be sweet if fully shown to me that 
it is the Father's will that I should suffer. And 
I believe the time has come for me to know that 

Up to this point of the meeting there was not 
that oneness of mind that I felt there must be. I 
said to those who remained, ' can you tarry with 
me till the morning if need be ? I feel that it 
must be by waiting that our Father will give us 
the blessing. A re we of one accord in this matter ? ' 
My physician, Dr. Morgan, was the first to say, ' I 
will stay, and I fully agree with you.' 

They all gathered about my chair. Never can 
that little group forget that season. It was now 
after nine o'clock. We continued waiting before 
the Lord. Occasionally one or another would 
quote, with comment, an appropriate text of scrip- 
ture, or engage in a brief prayer. For myself, I 
lay in quiet expectancy, still suffering, but with a 
remarkable sense of the divine presence. Much 
of the time I was almost oblivious to my surround- 
ings, so engaged was I in communion with my 
heavenly Father. About 1 1 o'clock I was led to 
vocally offer myself to God in fresh consecration, 
saying : 

* I give this body anew — these eyes to see, these 
lips to talk, these ears to hear, and, if it be thy will, 
these feet to walk — for Jesus. All that is of me — 
all, all is thine, dear Father. Only let thy precious 
will be done. ' 

Up to this time there was no cessation from suf- 
fering or increase of strength. As before said, I 
was weaker than usual. After a brief silence 
there suddenly flashed upon me a most vivid view 
of the healing of the withered arm. It seemed to 

190 THE TESJtatOlrY 

me I could see it being thrust out whole. At the 
same instant the Holy Spirit bestowed on my soul 
a faith to claim a similar blessing. It seemed as 
if heaven were at that moment opened, and I was 
conscious of a baptism of strength, as sensibly and 
as positively as if an electric shock had passed 
through my system. I felt definitely the strength 
come into my back, and into my helpless limbs. 
Laying my hand on the chair-arms, I raised myself 
to a sitting posture. The Garrigue9 brothers, be- 
ing seated on either side of the chair, naturally 
sprang forward and laid hold to assist me. This, 
however, was not necessary. Dr. Morgan, who 
was sitting near, stepped forward and let down the 
foot-board, and, while the hands of my friends were 
yet on my shoulders, I arose and stood upon my 

Sister Fannie could not remember ever having 
seen me standing up. She was so startled she 
threw up both hands and screamed, ' Oh, Jennie, 
Jennie 1 ' No words can express my feelings. My 
very being yet thrills with praise as I speak of that 
hour. As I stood Brother W. H. G. placed his hand 
upon my head, saying, ' Praise God, from whom all 
blessings flow.' 

My first thought was ' Can I kneel ? ' I asked 
to do so, and knelt as naturally as if I had been 
accustomed to it. There was so much of the 
divine presence that not a word was spoken. We 
poured forth our souls in silent thanksgiving and 
praise. I then arose and walked across the room 
with entire ease and naturalness ; there were no 
prickling or otherwise unpleasant sensations. Sat 
down in a rocking-chair for some minutes. It 
seemed so wonderful that I did not have to learn 


to walk. My limbs and body seemed as if made 

A case so widely known as this has been could 
not fail to elicit considerable comment. How was 
such a rapid and complete recovery effected ? Some 
said that it was doubtless owing to a sudden and 
powerful reassertion of the will ; that as in many 
such obscure diseases the ill was probably nervous 
and largely imaginary, and their prayers and faith 
simply brought courage and reassurance. Indeed ; — 
and is it not a great thing even to find a physician 
who can discover that nothing ails us when all the 
doctors have pronounced it a desperate case ? If 
this were all, which we do not for a moment admit, 
it would certainly be a vast triumph of faith-healing 
over medication. For it is not alone that our poor 
diseased humanity needs a physician with divine 
skill to remove our deep-seated sicknesses, but 
especially one with divine insight to fathom and 
uncover them. The doctor's eyes are often more 
at fault than his hand. He cannot cure because 
he cannot comprehend the secret of our plague. 
How wonderful is the insight of the Great Phy- 
sician. His penetrating glance goes to the root 
of disease when ours can only see the symptoms. 

Never was there healer with such vision as his. 


"He took our suffering human race, 
He read each wound and weakness clear, 

He struck his finger on the place, 
And said, thou ailest here and here? 

Blessed is the patient who has found a doctor 
whose healing touch is guided ever by that clear 
and unerring sight which knows what is in man, 
and needeth not that any should testify of him. 

Of this instance we have the doctor's written 
statement, confirming in every particular the tes- 
timony of his patient, both as to the fearful charac- 
ter of her sickness and her sudden and complete 
recovery in answer to prayer. We might bring 
forward many more witnesses did space permit. 
The instances of drunkards, cured at once of long 
enthralling appetite ; of the victims of opium 
saved from their degrading bondage, and all traces 
of the habit taken away, are especially interesting 
as evidences of God's immediate action in taking 
away the consequences of sin, as well as forgiving 
the sin itself. 

If one's eye is open, and his mind unprejudiced, 
how many of such traces of God's finger will he 
see in the world, events clear and unmistakable 
enough for him who is willing to believe, but ques- 
tionable and uncertain enough for him who is 
determined to deny. 



In summing up what has been brought forward 
in the preceeding chapters, we wish to review 
briefly the theory, the testimony and the practice, 
which our discussion has involved. 

As to the theory : — Is it right for us to pray to 
God to perform a miracle of healing in our behalf ? 
"The truth is," answers an eminent writer, "that 
to ask God to act at all, and to ask him to perform 
a miracle are one and the same thing." * That is 
to say, a miracle is the immediate action of God> 
as distinguished from his mediate action through 
natural laws. We see no reason, therefore, why 
we should hesitate to pray for the healing of our 
bodies any more than for the renewal of our souls. 
Both are miracles ; but both are covered and pro- 
vided for by the same clear word of promise. 

Our hesitancy to ask for physical healing we 
believe to rest largely on a false and wide-spread 
error in regard to the relation of the human 

* Jellett : Efficacy of Prayer, p. 41. 


body to the redemption of Christ. It is taken for 
granted by many that this house of clay was never 
intended either to be repaired or beautified by the 
renewing Spirit The caged-eagle theory of man's 
existence is widely prevalent — the notion that the 
soul is imprisoned in flesh, and is beating its bars 
in eager longing to fly away and be at rest — all of 
which may be very good poetry, but is very bad 
theology. The scripture teaches indeed that "we that 
are in this tabernacle do groan being burdened ; " 
but it does not therefore thrust death's writ of 
ejection into our hands as our great consolation, 
and tell us that our highest felicity consists in 
moving out of this house as quickly as possible. 
" Not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed 
upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of 
life, " is the inspired testimony concerning our 
highest hope of existence. The redemption of the 
body, not its dissolution, resurrection not death is 
set before us in the gospel as the true goal of vic- 
tory. But because that great promise of the 
gospel, "Who shall fashion anew the body of our 
humiliation that it may be conformed to the body 
of his ^lory," nas been so largely supplanted by 
the notion of a spiritual elimination taking place at 


death, in which a purified soul is forever freed 
from a cumbering body, all this has been changed 
in the creed of many. The heresy of death-wor- 
ship has supplanted the doctrine of resurrection, 
with a multitude of Christians, because they have 
allowed the partial felicity, the departing to be with 
Christ, to take the place of the final victory, the 
coming of Christ, to quicken our mortal bodies 
by his Spirit that dwelleth in us. 

It is easy to see now that when death gets es- 
tablished in the high esteem of Christians, sick- 
ness, his prime minister, should come to be held, 
in great regard also. And so it is, that while very 
few enjoy being sick, very many are afraid seri- 
ously to claim healing, lest it should seem like 
rebellion against a sacred ordinance, or a revolt 
from a hallowed medicine which God is mercifully 
putting to their lips for their spiritual recovery. 
Those who have such a feeling should search the 
scriptures to learn how constantly sickness is re- 
ferred to as the work of the devil. From the day 
when " Satan went forth from the presence of the 
Lord and smote Job with sore boils," to the hour 
when the Deliverer came and loosed " a daughter 
of Abraham, whom Satan had bound lo these 


eighteen years," — he that "hath the power of 
death, that is the devil," has been compelling our 
wretched race to reap the first fruits of mortality, 
disease and pain and bodily decay. Alas, if the 
Lord's people shall be so deceived by him that 
they shall willingly accept sickness, the first fruits 
of death, as their portion, instead of seeking for 
health, the first fruits of redemption ! If any shall 
insist indeed, that God often allows his servants 
to be sick for their good ; or that he sometimes per- 
mits them to fall into sin for their chastening, on 
that account we shall not admit that sickness is 
God's agent any more than that sin is. An old 
divine probably spoke as truly as he did quaintly 
when he said that "the Lord sometimes allows 
his saints to be sharpened on the devil's grind- 
stone," but we believe that in the compre- 
hensive petition, " Deliver us from the evil one" 
is contained without question a prayer for rescue 
from all the ways and works of Satan — from sick- 
ness as well as from sin ; from pain, the penalty of 
transgression, as well as from transgression itself. 
But, it is asked, if the privilege and promise in 
this matter are so clear, how is it that the cases of 
recovery through the prayer of faith are so rare ? 


Probably because the prayer of faith itself is so 
rare, and especially because when found it receives 
almost no support in the church as a whole. 
Prayer for such matters should be the outcome of 
the faith and intercession of the whole body of 
believers. So it was in the beginning. When 
Peter was delivered from prison it was because 
" prayer was made without ceasing of the Church 
unto God for him." And when Paul knelt alone 
in the chamber of Publius to intercede for his 
father's recovery, it was equally true that his peti- 
tion was an expression of what was the unanimous 
and concurring faith of the whole Church. But it 
is not easy for an individual prayer to make head- 
way against the adverse sentiment of the great body 
of Christians. For example let an earnest soul 
pray for a revival in a church where the prevail- 
ing view is that of indifferent unbelief, or positive 
disbelief in revivals, and would he be likely to ob- 
tain the coveted blessing? The promise stands fast, 
indeed, " How much more shall your heavenly 
Father give the Holy Spirit unto them that ask 
him ;" but the condition, "They were all with one 
accord in one place," is wanting. How shall one 
man move the great ship before the wind by hold- 


ing up his pocket handkerchief to the breeze, 
when all the mariners refuse to spread the sails ? 
And how shall one Christian's faith prevail against 
the non-consent of the whole Church ? There may 
be scattered instances of blessing in such circum- 
stances, but there can be no wide-spread exhibitons 
of divine power. They tell us that all the heat 
communicated to a cake of ice short of that which 
would bring it to the melting point becomes latent 
and disappears. Faith, likewise, may become in- 
operative and fruitless in the Church when mul- 
tiplied a hundred fold by unbelief. 

But there is another answer also to the question. 
It is as true here as in any other field that God 
acts sovereignly and according to his own deter 
minate counsel. He sees it best to recover one 
person at the instance of his people's prayers, and 
he may see it best to withold such recovery for the 
time from another.* And we would most strongly 
emphasize the importance of offering our supplica- 
tions for this as for all mercies in the most loyal 
and hearty and unreserved submission to the will of 
our Father. He has told us that " all things work 

* " Nor are tifnt wrought continually, but as often as it shall have plaaa ed God 
and seems necessary ; whence it is evident that to work signs depend* not on the 
•ption of man, but on tha will of God." BuBiager. 


together for good to them that love God," but we 

are not to conclude that they all work in one direc- 
tion. There are blessings and trials, joys and 
sorrows, pains and pleasures, sickness and health, 
falls and recoveries, advances and retrogressions, 
but the final issue and resultant of all these ex- 
periences is our highest good. This we conceive 
to be the meaning of the promise. And when we 
remember that God superintends all this complex 
system of providences, and foresees the final effect 
of each seperate element in it, we see how becom- 
ing it is that we should bring every petition into 
subjection to the will of the Lord. When Agus- 
tine was contemplating leaving Africa and going 
into Italy, his pious mother, fearing the effect 
which the seductions of Rome might have upon 
his ardent nature, besought the Lord with many 
tears and cries that he might not be permitted to 
go. He was suffered to go, however, and in Milan 
he found his soul's salvation. " Thou didst deny 
her," says Augustine in his confessions, " thou 
didst deny her what she prayed for at that time 
that thou mightest grant her what she prayed for 
always." This is a perfect illustration of the point 
which we are emphasizing. God may withhold 


the recovery which we ask to-day because he will 
give to us that " saving health " which we ask 
always. He may permit temporal death to come, 
in order that he may preserve his child unto life 
eternal. How little we can know what is best for 
us and what shall work our highest good ! Isaac 
Barrow, the eminent and devout theologian was so 
wayward and wicked while a lad that his Christian 
father confessed that he had prayed "that if it 
pleased God to take away any of his children it 
might be his son Isaac." What would the Church 
have lost had this prayer been granted ? On the 
other hand, the mother of Charles I., it is said, 
bent above the cradle of her infant boy when he 
had been given up to die, and refused to be com- 
forted unless God would spare his life. His life 
was spared ; but how gladly would that mother 
have had it otherwise could she have looked for- 
ward to the day when his head fell bleeding and 
ghastly beneath the stroke of the executioner's 
axe ? Such illustrations open a broad field for 
reflection, and suggest the real limitation of the 
prayer of faith as related to healing, viz., the gra- 
cious and all wise will of God. 
And this is the same limitation which belongs 


to the entire realm of intercessory prayer. " Hold- 
ing such views in regard to the efficacy of prayer 
for recovery from disease, why should you have 
any sick persons in your flock ? " is the question 
which a clerical critic propounds. We shall 
answer by propounding a much harder one. Hold- 
ing such views in regard to the efficacy of prayer 
for the conversion of souls, and resting on the 
plain declaration of scripture concerning God our 
Saviour that he " will have all men to be saved 
and to come to the knowledge of the truth," why 
should our questioner allow any sinner to remain 
unconverted under his ministry ? And yet is it 
not his sorrowful experience that of all that come 
under his word and prayers, only a few compara- 
tively give evidence of being regenerated ? Alas ! 
that we must all concede that this is our observa- 
tion. But because I have to admit that all will 
not hear, and all will not repent and be converted, 
shall I therefore refuse to persist in preaching and 
warning and rebuke and intercession, "that I 
might by all means save some ? " Indeed not ! 
And since the sure word of promise is given to us 
on this matter also, let us hold fast our confidence 
without wavering, so that whether there be few or 


many who shall be recovered we may by all means 
heal some. Such we believe to be a candid ver- 
dict in regard to the promise concerning prayer 
for the sick. 

And now what shall be said in regard to the 
testimony brought forward ? It would be con- 
sidered very weighty, we venture to believe, were 
it adduced in support of a generally accepted 
theory. When evidence and established convic- 
tion are put in the same scale they tip the beam 
very easily, but testimony against a heavy make- 
weight of unbelief and prejudice makes slow head- 
way. If the story of Augustine, or Luther, or 
Livingston, or Fox, or Dorothea Trudel were 
found in the gospels how we should fight for its 
genuineness. " Ah, yes," you say, " because the 
gospels are inspired, and we should not dare to 
question any statement recorded on their pages." 
But miracles were given to accredit inspiration, 
and not inspiration to accredit miracles. The first 
miracles got themselves credited simply on human 
testimony, on the evidence of men and women 
like ourselves, who saw, and believed and reported. 
And when they had become established as facts, 
then their weight went to prove the divine origin 


of Christianity. It is easy for us to say that the 
works recorded in the gospels are supernatural, 
because the system to which they belong is super- 
natural. That is true ; but it is reading backward. 
The first Christians could not reason in that way, 
because the premise from which we argue was not 
established in their day. No I The miracles of 
the New Testament became established in pre- 
cisely the same manner as any alleged fact is 
proved to-day, by the evidence of honest, candid 
and truthful witnesses, who saw and bare record. 
If, therefore, our theologians choose to treat the 
narratives of such godly and truthful men as 
Augustine, and Luther, and Baxter as "silly tales" 
they must be careful that they do not build a 
portico to " the school of Hume," from which their 
pupils will easily and logically graduate from the 
denial of modern miracles to the denial of all 

Nor does age have anything to do with deter- 
mining the value of signs and wonders. A young 
miracle is entitled to the same respect as an old 
one, provided it bears the same credentials. And 
if we give way to the subtle illusion that the mar- 
vellous is to be credited just in proportion to its 


distance from us ; if we show ourselves forward to 
admit that the Lord wrought great and mighty 
signs eighteen hundred years ago, and utterly 
averse to conceding that the same Lord does 
anything of the kind to-day, then we must be very 
careful again that we do not give countenance to 
the mythical theory of miracles, which has been 
so strongly pushed in this generation. Do we be- 
lieve that the credibility of miracles depends on 
the magnifying power of distance ; that antiquity 
must stand behind them as a kind of convex mir 
ror to render them sufficiently large to be distinctly 
seen ? How we revolt from such an imputation ! 
Yet let us be cautious that we do not give occasion 
for it, by emphasizing, as we cannot too strongly, 
the great things that the Lord did by our fathers, 
while we utterly refuse to believe that he does any 
such things by their sons. Let us not forget that 
the Jews in Christ's day were condemned for deny- 
ing the wonderful works wrought in their own 
generation, and not for disbelieving those done by 
Elijah and Elisha nine hundred years before. The 
defenders of New Testament miracles are num- 
bered by hundreds, and there is no special danger 
of a breach in the ramparts of Christianity at that 


point The question of God's supernatural work- 
ing to-day and to-morrow is the one where havoc 
is being wrought. Unbelief shading off from 
rationalism to liberal evangelicism is doing its 
utmost to give away our most precious heritage. 
With how many is regeneration merely a repairing 
of the old nature by culture, instead of a miracu- 
lous communication of the divine life ! How 
many regard the promised coming of Christ in 
glory as simply a new phase of providence effected 
by the turning of the kaleidoscope of history ! To 
how many is Satan only a concrete symbol of evil, 
so that their denial of the reality of the infernal 
has issued in a disbelief in the Supernal ! To how 
many is inspiration only a higher state of intellect- 
ual exaltation ; and resurrection an elimination or 
spiritual release, effected by the dissolving chemis- 
try of death ! To read the utterances put forth 
by Christian teachers in these directions within 
the last few years is enough to startle one and 
make him cry out in the strong words of Edward 
Irving : " Oh the serpent cunning of this liberal 
spirit, it is killing our children ; it has already 
slain its tens and thousands ; this city is sick unto 
death, and dying of the mortal wounds which she 


hath received from it." Therefore, let us be 
cautious that by taking up the current sneer about 
prodigies and wonders we do not get our eyes 
blinded and our ears dull of hearing so as to be 
utterly unable to discern any divine manifestations 
in case they should be made. 

As to the practice involved in this discussion : 
Can it be of any service for authenticating the 
truth of Christianity to-day to show examples 
of men and women healed of sickness through 
<aith in the Great Physician ? So far as our ob- 
servation goes, the most powerful effect of such 
experiences is upon the subjects themselves, in the 
marked consecration and extraordinary spiritual 
anointing which almost invariably attend them. 
We can bear unqualified testimony on this point. 
Of a large number within the circle of our ac- 
quaintance, who have been healed, or who have 
imagined themselves healed, we have never seen 
one who did not give evidence of having received 
an unusual enduement of spiritual power. It has 
seemed as though the double blessing of forgive- 
ness and health had been followed by the bestow- 
ment of a double portion of the Spirit. If we 
could let the objectors to our doctrine witness 


some of the examples of alleged healing which 
have been under our eyes for several years — 
inebriates who, after half a lifetime wasted in 
desperate struggles for reform, declare that their 
appetite was instantly eradicated in answer to in- 
tercessory prayer ; invalids lifted in an hour from 
couches where they had lain for years ; and now 
their adoring gratitude, their joyful self-surrender, 
their burning zeal in the service of the Lord — if 
we could let our critics witness these things we 
believe that the most stubborn among them would 
at least be willing that these happy subjects of — • 
something should remain under the illusion that 
they have had the Saviour's healing touch laid 
upon them. 

Such we believe to be the verdict of candor 
upon this whole question. We do not ask that 
the highest place in Christian doctrine be given to 
faith in supernatural healing. We readily admit 
that grace is vastly more important than miracles ; 
but miracles have their place as shadows of greater 
things. We urge that they may hold this place, 
that we may be helped thereby the better to ap- 
prehend the substance. 

When the Emperor Theodosius had on a great 


occasion given release to all the prisoners confined 
within his realm he exclaimed : " And now would 
to God I could open all the tombs and give life to 
the dead ! " If we could sometimes see the Lord 
unlocking the prison-house of sickness and giving 
reprieve from the impending penalty of death to 
those long in bondage it might be a salutary pledge 
and reminder of our Redeemer's purpose to bring 
forth the prisoners from the tomb in that day when 
he shall quicken our mortal bodies by his Spirit 
that dwelleth in us ; it might sound in our ears 
with repeated emphasis the Lord's word, " turn ye 
to the stronghold ye prisoners of hope ; even to- 
day do I declare that I will render double unto 



"The Church can no longer say, silver and gold 
have I none," said Pope Gregory to Thomas 
Aquinas. " No, nor can she say any longer, * In 
the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and 
walk,' " answered Thomas. A very deep wisdom, 
and a very fruitful suggestion are contained in this 
answer of the theologian. As riches increase, that 
close dependence on God which is the fertile soil 
of faith and trust, decreases. It is when we are 
most straightened in ourselves that the bounty of 
God is most widely open to us ; it is when we have 
nothing that we find the key with which to enter 
in and possess all things which are ours in Christ. 

We are living in an age in which the Church 
enjoys very large prosperity in an earthly direction ; 
when she is " rich and increased in goods," and, 
therefore, in constant peril of saying " I have 
need of nothing." It is not an era, therefore, 
in which the greatest triumphs of faith and 
intercession may be reasonably looked for. Every 


Christian knows in his own experience the differ- 
ence between saying his prayers and supplicating 
God for help under the stress of overwhelming 
need ; and in the Church we may well open our 
eyes to the fact that our prosperity, and our rest 
from persecution and trial are sources of weakness 
and enervation. We do not pray as apostles, and 
martyrs, and confessors, and reformers prayed, be- 
cause not pressed upon by enemies, and thereby 
shut up to God as they were ; and so we do not 
get such answers as they received. 

Our first caution therefore concerning this sub- 
ject is that we do not demand too much of the 
Christian Church of to-day. We should ask great 
things and expect great things of God ; but of 
men, weak and back-slidden in heart, we ought not 
to be too exacting. Faith for healing cannot rise 
above the general level of the Church's faith. 
There are multitudes of prayers in these days, 
written prayers and extemporaneous prayers, pray- 
ers in the Church, and prayers in the family ; but 
how many Christians out of the great mass have 
any very extensive record of direct, definite and 
unmistakable answers to their petitions ? Of all 
who knock at the gates of heaven each day, how 


many wait and watch till the door is opened and 
their portion is brought to them ? But it is not rea- 
sonable to expect that such as have no experience 
in prevailing prayers for other things should be 
able to wield at once the prayer of faith which 
saves the sick. In God's school it is no more true 
than in man's, that pupils can step immediately 
into the highest attainments with no previous 
study, or diligent mastery of the first principles 
pf faith. If the conviction and assurance of the 
Church as a whole should rise to the height of this 
great argument, we might witness wonderful 
things ; but, so long as it does not, we should not 
be made to doubt because of the meagre conquests 
which we witness. It is for us to pray always 
and earnestly that the Lord would be pleased to 
restore to his Church her primitive gifts, by re- 
storing her primitive endowments of unworldliness 
and poverty of spirit and separation unto God. If 
any organ of the body be weak and sickly, the 
only sure method of restoring it is to tone up the 
whole system, and bring it to the normal standard 
of health ; so if the entire body of Christ were 
revived and reinvested with her first spiritual 
powers, these special gifts and functions of which 


we are writing would not fail to be in extensive 

Then again we need to be very careful that we 
do not fall into heresy on this question. Heresy, 
as a thoughtful Christian writer has pointed out, 
means a dividing or a choosing ; it is the accept- 
ance and advocacy of one hemisphere of truth to 
the rejection of the other. Every doctrine is two 
sided ; so that whichever phase commends itself to 
us we must remember its counterpart, and aim to 
preserve the balance of truth by holding fast to 
this also. In the matter before us, as in the 
whole doctrine of prayer, human freedom and the 
divine sovereignty are inseparably joined. Here 
are the two sides : 

" Ask wltat ye will and it shall be done unto 
you."— John xv. 7. 

"If ye ask anything according to his will he 
heareth us." — 1 John v. 14. 

In our assent to the doctrine of the divine 
sovereignty we must never forget the gracious 
privilege which is accorded to us of freely making 
known our requests to God, with the fullest assur- 
ance that he will hear and grant them. "Whatso- 
ever ye shall ask in my name that will I do ; " — we 


cannot lean too hard upon this promise or plead it 
too confidently. But at the same time we must be 
sure that beneath every prayer the strong, clear 
undertone of "thy will be done" is distinctly 
heard. Of course in saying this we open a mys- 
tery, and suggest a seeming contradiction which 
the wisdom of the ages has been unable to solve. 
But because we find both sides of this truth dis- 
tinctly expressed in scripture, we must be sure to 
emphasize both.* Let us be very careful there- 
fore that we do not proclaim the doctrine of divine 
healing in an unbalanced and reckless manner. If 
we are told that a brother in the Church is sick 
let us not make undue haste to declare that he will 
certainly be restored if we carry his case to God. 
We must keep distinctly in mind both Melita and 
Miletum : remembering that at one place Paul 
healed the father of Publius by his prayers, and 
that at the other place he left Trophimus sick. 

"*The only way for a believer, if he wants to go rightly, is to remember that 
truth is always two-sided. If there is any truth that the Holy Ghost has specially 
pressed upon your heart, if you do not want to push it to the extreme, ask what is 
the counter- truth, and lean a little of your weight upon that ; otherwise, if you 
bear so very much on one side of the truth, there is a danger of pushing it into a 
heresy. Heresy means selected truth ; it does not mean error : heresy and error 
are very different things. Heresy is truth ; but truth pushed into undue impoR 
Udgc to the disparagement of the truth on the other side." — William Lincolu. 


Some commentators have conjectured the reason 
why the latter was not at that time recovered, viz., 
that he was to be thereby kept back from martyr- 
dom which he would probably have met had he 
gone with Paul, and for which his time had not 
come in the purpose of God. Whether there is 
any truth or not in this conjecture, there was 
doubtless some good reason why this companion of 
the apostle should have been detained for the 
while under infirmity. The all wise and gracious 
Lord, who is shaping our lives, must be allowed to 
choose such detentions for us, if he sees that he 
can thereby best forward our usefulness and ad- 
vance his own glory. We should be cautious 
therefore that in this matter we do not push the 
element of human choice too strongly and rashly, 
to the ignoring of the divine, and so bring in the 
heresy of free-will. 

Let us take warning from those misguided 
teachers who are going to the other extreme, and 
bearing so hard upon the divine sovereignty as 
practically to deny man's freedom, to ask or expect 
miraculous healing. More than this, indeed, they 
seem to have pushed the sovereignty of God almost 
into an iron fixedness, where even the Almighty is 


not at liberty to work miracles any longer, as 
though under bonds to restrain this office of his 
Omnipotence since the apostolic age. This we 
hold to be a far more serious error than the other, 
since it appears not only to shut up man's freedom 
of asking, but to limit God's freedom of giving. 
There have appeared in our religious newspapers, 
of late, extended deliverances, in which the pos- 
sibility of any miraculous interventions in this age 
is most emphatically denied, and the attempt to 
apply the plain promise in James to present times 
and circumstances characterized as gross super- 
stition. A rash responsibility for evangelical 
teachers to take in speaking thus, we should say. 
\t is opening channels of denial respecting the 
lupernatural, into which the swelling unbelief of 
toir age will not be slow to pour, inevitably deep- 
ening those channels into great gulfs of skepticism. 
" Ah, but it is you who are ministering to un- 
belief," it is replied, " by holding out promises in 
the fulfilment of which men will be disappointed, 
and thereby be led to doubt the word of the 
Lord." That is an objection that can be urged 
equally against the whole doctrine of prayer, and 
it is one concerning which we can take no blame. 


It is for us simply to emphasize every promise 
which God has given, and to refrain from cumber- 
ing it with any conditions of ours. If such assent 
should promote unbelief in any, that is the Lord's 
responsibility who gave the promise. If instead 
of assent we give denial, that is our responsibility, 
and the consequences must lie at our door. 

Let us on our part, therefore, avoid heresy by 
keeping these two great elements of prayer in 
equilibrium, believing strongly but asking submis- 
sively, holding up in one hand of our supplication 
a "Thus saith the Lord," and in the other a "The 
will of the Lord be done." 

It requires great caution also in this subject 
that we do not fall into fanaticism. As we have 
already indicated, fanaticism is not necessarily a 
sign of error. It is more likely to be a healthful 
than a fatal symptom. It is often the proud flesh 
and fever heat which indicate that healing is going 
on in some fractured bone or ligament of the sys- 
tem of doctrine. Nevertheless, it must be subdued 
and kept down lest the truth may suffer reproach. 
And in this field especially do we need to guard 
against it. 

Nowhere does real require to be so carefully 


tempered by knowledge as here. Novices, lifted 
up with pride, will lay hold of this doctrine, and 
with the enthusiasm which the discovery of some 
long neglected truth is apt to engender they will 
parade their faith, and make extravagant claims 
concerning it. Nothing needs to be held with such 
quietness and reserve as this truth. To press 
it upon the undevout and uninstructed is only to 
bring it into contempt. Those who have the most 
wisdom in such matters will-be found speaking in 
very hushed tones, and without assumption or 
ostentation. One who has the habit of parad* 
ing this theme on all occasions, and haranguing it 
at every street corner, gives clear evidence of his 
unfitness to handle it. Here is a serious peril, as 
we distinctly forsee ; but the best truth has always 
had to run such risks. Dry and lifeless tradition 
is the only thing which has invariably been exempt 
from them. 

The more careful, therefore, should all be, who 
desire to see God's word prevail, to pray much and 
argue little, that the Spirit who can alone dis- 
cover the deep things of God may reveal his true 
will to the Church concerning this important ques- 
tion. And most especially is all undue forward- 


ness in attempting to exercise this ministry to be 
avoided. We are persuaded that there is no 
deeper or more difficult question which can come 
within our reach. If any one is sincerely desirous 
of being used of the Lord in this direction let him 
give diligent heed to be taught of God concerning, 
it. We are persuaded that there is no school on 
earth which is competent to graduate one in this 
divine science. Therefore we would commend our 
readers neither to books nor to theologians, but to 
the personal instructions of the Spirit of God. We 
admire the candor with which one eminent doctor of 
theology, Prof. Godet, has confessed the true secret 
of knowledge in this field. He says : " A single 
prayer answered, a single case of living contact 
with the power of the Father, a single exertion ol 
the strength of Christ over the weakness that is in 
us will teach us more on the subject of miracles 
than all that I have been able in this lecture to say 
to you upon this great subject." 

Let it be distinctly borne in mind that this is no 
easy art, no surface-truth to be picked up by any 
religious adventurer who may desire to exhibit 
some novel accomplishment Unless one is ready 
for the most absolute self-surrender and the most 

OF CAV770J9. 219 

implicit obedience let him not even enter this 
school of inquiry with any hope of learning its 
secrets. It is told of Pastor Blumhardt, who knew 
as much of this subject, we believe, as any man in 
recent times, that after the promise for healing 
was first brought powerfully to his mind he passed 
two years in repeated prayers and fastings and 
searchings for the mind of the Spirit before he 
had the assurance that he should lay hands on the 
sick for their recovery. We know that others who 
have been greatly owned of God in this direction 
have had a similar experience. Therefore we would 
interpose a strong caution against rashness or for- 
wardness in this matter. We need less praying 
for the sick rather than more ; only that the less 
shall be real, and deep, and intelligent, and believ- 
ing. What a revelation is contained in the fact 
that some of the disputants in this controversy, 
after boldly denying that miraculous healing is 
possible in this age of the world, have then added 
" of course we ought to pray for the sick." That 
is, being fairly interpreted, after becoming 
thoroughly convinced that God will not inter- 
pose supernaturally for their restoration then we 
should offer our supplication for their healing. It 


seems to us, on the contrary, that such a convic 
tion furnishes a good reason why we should refrain 
from praying till we have acknowledged our un- 
belief and forsaken it 

The strongest and most enlightened faith, one- 
ness of heart in all uniting to pray, minute and 
obedient submission to every condition named in 
scripture are what are absolutely essential in this 
field. With the utmost tenderness and deference 
we would allude to a memorable instance of pray- 
ing for the sick, which is fresh in mind. A call 
issued by the secular authorities ; a day of prayer 
in which believers and formalists alike unite ; the 
incense of the Romish mass ascending with the 
intercessions of the Protestant prayer meeting ; the 
Jew and the Christian offering up, each according 
to his kind ; the helpless and imprisoned patient 
meantime shut out from the ministry of grace and 
shut in to the ministry of drugs aud stimulants 
so that any lucid exercise of faith or of prayer 
in the Holy Spirit would seem to be well-nigh 
impossible, — What shall we say of this ? God 
forbid that we should by the slightest criticism 
seem to mock the grief of a suffering nation, 
or to disparage a call to prayer from the rulers 

of cactt/om 221 

who did the best they knew in a great crisis, and 
we have no light as to how the Lord may have 
regarded such an offering. But in simple candor 
and loyalty to the word of God we must decline to 
have this event established as a prayer guage, as 
many are insisting on making it. It was simply a 
national fast day, concerning which we proffer no 
remark. But the prayer of faith, by the elders 
of the Church, offered at the special request of the 
sick person, made in the name of Jesus, the one 
mediator between God and man, and in the 
Holy Ghost the Comforter, and all rendered up in 
obedience to every known condition of faith and 
oneness of mind enjoined in scripture — this is 
the kind of prayer for the sick which we are dis- 
cussing in this volume, and no other. Here is a 
service which belongs to the Holy of holies of the 
Christian Church, and which cannot be brought 
out into the court of the Gentiles. 

A caution against dogmatism and pride of opin- 
ion in a field where we know only in part, may 
well close what we have to say. Alas ! how little 
we truly understand of this whole matter. We 
believe strongly because we have promises that 
are " yea, and in him, amen unto the glory of God 


by us." And so we have presented as best we 
could the doctrine, the history and the experience 
of the Church upon this great question. How 
little we can speak of actual use of these gifts. 
But in the oft quoted words of a good man, we are 
" very confident that the Lord has more truth yet 
to break forth out of his holy word ; " on this sub- 
ject especially, because so many of God's people 
are " searching diligently what or what manner of 
time the Spirit of Christ did dignify " when he 
penned these great promises. If God has any- 
thing to reveal by any instrument whatever, let us 
be open to receive it. If such instruments shall 
prove to be, as we quite believe, the " poor of this 
world rich in faith ; " the servants of Christ, who 
after long endurance of the bondage of pain have 
traced the promises of healing line by line in their 
own experience; and the obedient children, who have 
faced the world's doubt and scornful denial for the 
joy of answering God's challenge, " Prove me now 
herewith," let us take heed that we do not despise 
even such teachers and light bearers. And in all 
our urgency for the truth of God in this matter, 
let us not forget that miracles are but signs, not 
the substance. In prayer, in preaching, in tears 


and persuasions over perishing souls, in bearing 
the cross and counting all things as loss for the 
excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus the 
Lord, let us for the present be diligently em- 
ployed, until the day dawn and the shadows flee 
away ; until the harvest be gathered and the first 
fruits shall be needed no more ; until that which 
is perfect shall come, and that which is in part 
shall be done away. 



The prayer of faith, when really understood and 
exercised, will be confessed to be the very highest 
attainment of the Christian life. And yet it is an 
attainment which comes from unlearning rather 
than from learning ; from self-abnegation rather 
than from self-culture ; from decrease towards 
spiritual childhood rather than from increase to- 
wards the stature of intellectual manhood. The 
same condition holds for opening the kingdom of 
heaven for others as for entering it ourselves, viz., 
that we "become as little children." To reach 
down and grasp the secret of simplicity of faith 
and implicitness of confidence is far more difficult 
than to reach up and lay hold of the key of knowl- 
edge. Hence, how significant it is that in the 
Scriptures children are made the heroes of faith. 
•'This is the victory that overcometh the world 
even our faith." And who then are the over- 
comers ? Who are they that have laid hold of the 


mighty secret of this spiritual conquest? "Ye 
are of God little children, and have overcome them." 
And why ? " Because greater is he that is in you 
than he that is in them." Yes ; and just in pro- 
portion as we are emptied of self, and schooled 
back into that second childhood which should 
follow the second birth, will God be in us most 
fully and act through us most powerfully. 

There is a passage in the life of an eminent 
Christian philosopher which is well worth ponder- 
ing deeply and seriously in this age of superficial 
praying. A friend of Coleridge says that stand- 
ing by his bedside not long before his death he 
was commenting on the Lord's prayer, when he 
suddenly broke out : " Oh my dear friend, to pray, 
to pray as God would have us ; to pray with all the 
heart and strength ; with the reason and the will, 
to believe vividly that God will listen to your voice 
through Christ and verily do the thing he pleaseth 
thereupon — this is the last, the greatest achieve- 
ment of the Christian's warfare on earth. Teach 
us to pray, O Lord!" "And then," says the 
narrator, "he burst into a flood of tears, and 
begged me to pray for him." The greatest 
achievement indeed ! And yet it is not by might 


nor by power. Wisdom cannot compass it ; learn 
ing cannot master it. " To pray with all the heart 
and strength ; " which should mean with the heart 
submerged in the heart of Christ, and with the 
strength transformed into " the irresistable might 
of weakness, " with the reason brought into com- 
plete captivity to the cross of Christ, and with the 
will surrendered up to the will of God, this is 
indeed the secret of power. 

Let it be noted that we are speaking of one of 
the highest attainments of Christianity now, and 
not of its rudiments. The faith which saves us is 
the simplest exercise of the heart ; the prayer of 
faith which saves the sick is the most exacting. 
The one is merely receptive, the other is power- 
fully self-surrendering. Do you wish to be saved, 
the Master will only say to you " Take the cup of 
salvation and call upon the name of the Lord." 
Do you wish to be mightily used of the Lord in 
the office of raising the sick from their beds, and 
giving life to those who are dead in sin, you will 
hear him asking the searching question " Can ye 
drink of the cup that I drink of and be baptized 
with the baptism which I am baptized with ? " In 
the faith by which we are converted and delivered 


from the wrath to come we do naught but receive 
Jesus Christ ; in the faith by which we are conse- 
crated and made vessels " meet for the Master's 
use and prepared unto every good work," we give 
ourselves, soul, body and spirit to Jesus Christ. 

That we may see how strenuous and searching 
the requirements for prevailing prayer are, let us 
note three explicit conditions laid down in Scrip- 
ture, to which are attached the promise of what- 
soever we ask : 

"If ye abide in me and my words abide in you" 
— John xv. 7. 

" If we keep his commandments and do those 
things that are pleasing in his sight " — 1 John 
iii. 22. 

" If we ask anything according to his will." — 
1 John v. 14. 

The first requirement, " If ye abide in me — " is 
that of intimate and unbroken communion with 
the Lord. Our justification depends upon our 
being in Christ. Our power and fellowship de- 
pend upon our abiding in Christ. And this last 
implies the most constant and uninterrupted in- 
timacy of the soul with the Saviour. It is the 
entering into his life and having his life so enter- 


ing into us, that the confession of the Apostle 
becomes realized in us — "I live, yet not I, but 
Christ liveth in me." Such abiding will stand in 
exact proportion to our detachment from the world. 
The " double minded man " who is trying to make 
the most of both worlds, grasping for earth's riches 
and pleasures and yet wishing to secure the high- 
est prizes of the kingdom of heaven, will inevitably 
waver ; and to such a one the Scripture speaks ex- 
pressly, " Let not that man think that he shall 
receive anything of the Lord." It is a hard say- 
ing, but one which in some form or other is con- 
stantly repeated in the word of God. " Know ye 
not that the friendship of this world is enmity to 
God ? " asks the apostle James ; and the converse 
is hardly less true for believers, that the 
enmity of this world is friendship with God. 
When, for any cause, a Christian finds his earthly 
affections sundered, so that they do not draw him 
down, he will at least learn how much easier it is 
to set his affections on things above. Never do 
we find the heart of God opening so widely to us 
as when the heart of the world is closed against 
us. There is a homely wisdom, therefore, in the 
lines of an old poet, Henry Vaughan, when for his 


" soul's chief health " he prays for these three 
things : 

" A living faith, a heart of flesh, 

The world an enemie ; 
The last will keepe the first two fresh, 

And bring me where I'de be." 

How easy it is to understand the secret of 
/aul's, " / live, yet not I" after he has told us of 
the double crucifixion which he has endured — "By 
whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the 
world." Some become dead to the world through 
the pain or trial or privation which cuts them off 
from all communion with it, though the world is 
still there ; to others the world becomes dead be- 
cause of the cutting off of friends, and comforts, 
and fortune, in which their world consisted. In 
either case, if there be a heart which truly longs 
for God, it will find a wonderful release towards 
him. We are advocating no morbid asceticism, 
but simply interpreting Scripture ; and we must 
add, also, interpreting the secret of power in those 
who have been mightily prevalent in intercession. 
For in tracing the lives of those most eminently 
successful in the prayer of faith, as they have 
passed in review in this volume, we have found 


that, almost without exception, they have been 
those remarkably separated from the world, either 
through their own voluntary consecration or through 
persecutions, and trials, and sufferings endured for 
Christ's sake. 

The next condition which we have noted " If 
we keep his commandments and do those things 
which are pleasing in his sight," needs to be em- 
phasized not less strongly. Implicit obedience, a 
painstaking attention to the smallest and the 
greatest requirements of the Lord, is what is 
enjoined. Rather, we might say, a fidelity in ser- 
vice which admits no distinction of small or great 
when handling the commandments of the Lord. 
For true obedience knows no such discriminations 
as essential and non-essential in the divine re- 
quirements ; it has no test fine enough for distin- 
guishing things indifferent from things vital 
Among the sayings of Christ, our perfect ex- 
ampler in praying as in living, we find these two 
professions which we do well to read together. 
" / do always those things that please him** 
" / know that thou kearest me always** 
Here again we touch the heart of this great 
secret To obey well is to pray well ; for not only 


does God love the willing and the obedient, but 
such know his mind and understand how and what 
to ask as no others can. One step in compliance 
with the Father's will will carry us further in 
knowledge than ten steps in mere studious search 
into the mystery of his ways. Wonderfully do 
the mind and purposes of God open themselves to 
the obedient soul. " Who by searching can find 
out God ? " But " if any man do his will he shall 
know of the doctrine." 

Therefore should we study to exercise the most 
minute and diligent obedience to the Lord's re- 
quirements. "Whatsoever hesaithuntoyou, do it." 
In keeping this commandment there is great re- 
ward and the surest entrance into the promise of 
Christ, " Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in 
my name he will give it you." In all our Christian 
life and practice let us beware of saying concern- 
ing any command of God that it is only a form, 
and therefore it does not matter. Forms are 
sometimes given, no doubt, as tests of our fidelity, 
as when Naaman is enjoined to wash seven times 
in the Jordan for his healing, or when the elders 
are commanded to anoint the sick with oil for 
their recovery. Forms are nothing, to be sure ; 


but the obedience which responds to those forms 
in every minute particular, for the love of Christ, is 
most precious in the sight of God. Hence, sig- 
nificantly, Paul thanks God concerning the Roman 
Christians that they had " obeyed from the heart 
that form of doctrine which was committed to 

And, finally, " if we ask anything according to 
his will ; " which means " that we should be of a 
v .ruth purely, simply and wholly at one with the 
Dne Eternal Will of God, or altogether without 
will, so that the created will should flow out into 
the Eternal Will, and be swallowed up and lost 
therein, so that the Eternal Will alone should do 
and leave undone in us."* And let us not be 
alarmed at this requirement, as though it meant 
pains, racks, tortures, the loss of our lives, the 
death of our children, and everything else which 
is dreadful to contemplate. Why is it that we 
have associated such things with the prayer, " Thy 
will be done ? " Let us search the Scriptures and 
see what God's revealed will is. " For this is the 
will of God even your sanctification" f "And this 
is the will of him that sent me, that every one that 

• Tbeologia Gcnnsmca, p. go 


seeth the Son and believeth on him may have ever- 
lasting life." * " Who will have all men to be 
saved and to come unto the knowledge of the 
truth." f These and many other texts, if we had 
space to quote them, point in one direction, and 
indicate that the will of God is our health and not 
our hurt ; our weal and not our woe ; our life and 
not our death. It must be the will of God that 
all that is contrary to him should be destroyed. 
" Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not 
planted shall be rooted up." Sin, sickness and 
death are contrary to God ; they are not plants of 
his planting, but tares which the enemy has sown 
in his field. Therefore they are to be plucked up, 
and we may be certain that we are working in the 
line of his will when we are seeking to eradicate 
them. What, then, if we should chiefly aim in our 
ministry at the sick bed to set forth this blessed 
disposition and purpose of the divine will ? What 
if, instead of laying such stress on patient sub« 
mission to pain and bodily disorder as things in- 
evitable, we should seek to lift the sufferer up into 
harmony with God, in whom there is no sickness 
and no disorder ? And then when we pray " thy 

* John ri 40. 
♦ 4. 


will be done" we shall mean let sickness be de- 
stroyed ; let the sufferer be delivered from the 
racks and tortures of pain's inquisition; let sin 
and the bitter fruit of sin in these poor tormented 
bodies be plucked up together. In praying thus 
we must surely be setting our faces in the right 
direction. For looking upward for the key of our 
petition, " Thy will be done on earth," we hear 
"as it is in heaven." But in heaven there is cer- 
tainly no sin, sickness or death; and so we are en- 
joined to ask and strive and labor that there be none 
on earth. And looking forward to the predicted 
consummation of Christ's redemptive work, when 
God's will shall be actually done on earth, we read 
the glowing words : "And there shall be no more 
death, neither sorrow nor crying, neither shad there 
be any more pain." Here then is the clearly de- 
fined pattern, above us, and before us; and amid 
all the tangled mysteries of evil, we should set our 
faces like a flint to pray it out and work it out ink 
blessed fulfillment. And while we recognize the 
doctrine of the Divine Sovereignty, to which we 
have elsewhere referred, thir should no more pre- 
vent our asking in faith for the healing of our 
bodies, than the doctrine of election should prevent 



our asking with the fullest assurance for the salva- 
tion of our souls. These observations in this clos- 
ing chapter, let it be remembered, are especially 
for such as may be called to exercise the minis- 
try of healing. If there are those who desire this 
office, we believe they should seek, with all their 
heart the consecration, the separation from the 
world and the surrender to God's will, which the 
Scriptures enjoin as conditions of prevailing prayer. 
To the sick, sensible of their lack of these at- 
tainments, and fearing that their case cannot be 
reached on that account, we would speak a differ- 
ent word, even the word of the Master — "Be not 
afraid, only believe. " Christ comes to the sinner, 
helpless, guilty, lost, and saves him just as he finds 
him. And so with the sufferer, when he lies 
"stripped of his raiment, wounded and half dead." 
As the good Samaritan "came where hs was and 
bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine," so 
Jesus will take the patient just where he is, if he 
takes him at all. We have not to make ourselves 
better in order to be healed, either spiritually or 
physically. Therefore let the sufferer take courage 
and lift up his weary head. Oh, ye unnumbered 
subjects of pain and bodily torture, with hands 


and feet which you would use so diligently and 
swiftly in the service of your Lord if they were 
only released from the fetters which bind them! 
Oh, ye countless victims of pain and disorder, who 
have never consecrated either your souls or your 
bodies to the service of him who made them, hear 
all of you that voice of him who speaketh from 
heaven, saying, " I am the Lord that healeth thee. *' 
And if the promises of God and the teachings of 
Scripture and the testimonies of the healed set 
forth in this book might throw one ray of hope or 
alleviation into your sick chambers, it would repay 
amply the pains we have taken in its preparation, 
and more than compensate us for any reproach 
we may incur for having borne witness to a doc- 
trine of which many, as yet, can hear only with 
impatience and derision. And to this last word 
we would join a prayer which has come down to 
us from a very ancient liturgy: 

"remember, o lord, those who are diseased and 
sick, and those who are troubled by unclean 
spirits; and do thou who art god, speedily heal 
and deliver them." 


Note A. (P. 58.) 


Those who have never had their attention called 
to the statements of the Christian fathers respect- 
ing the continuance of miracles in their day, will 
doubtless be surprised at this conclusion of Uhl- 
horn. But other eminent writers on the early 
history of the church are equally emphatic. And 
we are persuaded that no one who has looked care- 
fully into the subject will consider it an easy task 
to refute this conclusion. 

The most ingenious attempt to break the force 
of the patristic testimony on this subject, which 
we have met, is that of Rev. Dr. Geo. W. Samson, 
in an article, "Are there Miracles of Healing?" in 
"The Christian at Work," June 1st, 1882. His 
position is that "no evidence of the continuance 
or miracles after the apostolic age is presented by 
the early Christian writers. " And his theory is, 
that the seeming testimonies to such continuance 


are written in a kind of historical present tense, 
the real reference being to the days of the apos- 
tles, and not the times of the writers. He applies 
this method somewhat plausibly to the statements 
of Irenaeus, but refrains, we think very wisely, 
from using it upon the other witnesses. When, 
as in the testimony of Tertullian and Augustine, 
for example, names and places are given, it is 
clearly quite impossible to throw the allusion back 
to apostolic times. We insert a few additional 
testimonies from the fathers, and ask the candid 
reader to see how impossible it is to make them 
refer to the times of the apostles. 
Tertullian says: 

"Even Severns himself, the father of Antonine, was graciously 
mindful of the Christians. For he sought out the Christian Pro- 
culus, surnamed Torpacion, the steward of Euhodias, and in gaat- 
itude for his once having cured him by anointing, he kept him in 
hi;- palace till the day of his death." (Ad. Scap. 4.) 

We believe no one can candidly read the para- 
graph in which this sentence stands without being 
persuaded that the reference is to healing by 
supernatural means. 

Origen, commenting on the words, "the demon- 
stration of the Spirit and of power," says: 



•Of 'power' because of the signs and wonders which we must 
believe to have been performed, both on many other grounds and 
on this, that traces of them are still preserved among those who regit 
late their lives by the precepts of the gospel. " (Contra Celsum, B, 1, 
Chap. II.) 

Again, he says: 

"And there are still preservea among Christians traces of that 
Holy Spirit which appeared in the form of a dove. They expel 
evil spirits, and perform many cures and foresee certain events 
according to the will of the Logos." (Id. B. 1, xlvii.) 

Once more: 

"We assert that the whole habitable world contains evidence of 
tke works of Jesus, in the existence of those churches of God 
which have been founded through Him by those who have been 
converted from the practice of innumerable sins. And the name 
of Jesus can still remove distractions from the minds of men and 
expel demons, and also take away diseases." (Id. B. I, lxvii.) 

Who can deny that these are plain assertions of 
the continuance of miracles in the writer's day? 

Chrysostom, in his Libra Contra Gentiles, com- 
menting on John xiv: 12: 

•He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also, 
and greater works," etc., appeals to the miracles recorded in the 
Acts of the Apostles in proof of the truth of this promise, and 
then adds: "But if any one assert that these are mere smoke and 
a fictitious wonder unworthy of credit, LET us VIEW THOSE OF THE 


present DAY, which are calculated both to stop and to put to 
shame the blaspheming mouth, and to check the unbridled tongue. 
For throughout our whole habitable world, there is not a country, a 
nation, or a city, where these wonders are not commonly spoken of, 
which, if figments, would never have occasioned so much admira- 
tion. And you yourselves, indeed, might testify for us to this. 
For we shall have no occasion to receive confirmation of what we 
assert from others, seeing that you yourselves, our opponents, 
supply us therewith." (Logos pros Hellenas — Ed. Par, 1621, 
Tom I, p. 728-732.) 

We now reproduce the famous paragraph from 
Irenaeus entire, that the reader may judge whether 
the writer is speaking of his own or of apostolic 

"If, however, they maintain that the Lord, too, performed such 
works simply in appearance, we shall refer them to the prophet- 
ical writings, and prove from these both that all things were thus 
predicted regarding Him, and did take place undoubtedly, and 
that He is the only Son of God. Wherefore, also, those who are 
in truth His disciples, receiving grace from Him, do in His name 
perform (miracles), so as to promote the welfare of other men, 
according to the gift which each one has received from Him. For 
some do certainly and truly drive out devils, so that those who 
have thus been cleansed from evil spirits frequently both believe 
[in Christ] and join themselves to the church. Others have fore- 
knowledge of things to come; they see visions, and utter proph- 
etic expressions. Others, still, heal the sick by laying their hands 
upon them, and they are made whole. Yea, moreover, as I have 
said, the dead even have been raised up, and remained among us 



for many years. And what shall I more say? It is not possible 
to name the number of the gifts which the church, [scattered] 
throughout the whole world, has received from God, in the name 
of Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate, and which 
she exerts day by day for the benefit of the Gentiles, neither prac- 
tising deception upon any, nor taking any reward from them [on 
account of such miraculous interpositions]. For as she has re- 
ceived freely from God, freely also does she minister [to others] . 

Nor does she perform anything by means of angelic invocations, 
or by incantations, or by any other wicked, curious art; but direct- 
ing her prayers to the Lord who made all things, in a pure, sincere 
and straightforward spirit, and calling upon the name of our Lord 
Jesus Christ, she has been accustomed to work miracles for the 
advantage of mankind, and not to lead them into error. If, there- 
fore, the name of our Lord Jesus Christ even now confers benefits, 
and cures thoroughly and effectually all who anywhere believe on 
Him, but not that of Simon, or Menander, or Carpocrates, or any 
other man whatever, it is manifest that when he was made man he 
held fellowship with His own creation and did all things through 
the power of God, according to the will of the Father of all, as 
the prophets had foretold." (Adv. Haer B. I, xxxii.) 

We have in this case, as in the other quotations, 
used the translation of the Ante-Nicene Christian 
Library, T. & T. Clark, Edinburgh. 

Mosheim, referring to the alleged cures and ex- 
pulsion of demons in the 2d century, says: 

"That those gifts of the Spirit which are commonly termed 
miraculous, were liberally imparted by Heaven to numbers of the 
Christians, not only in this, but likewise in the succeeding age, and 


more especially to those who devoted themselves to the propaga- 
tion of the gospel among the heathen, has, on the faith of the con- 
current testimony of the ancient fathers, been hitherto universally 
credited throughout the Christian world. Nor does it appear that 
in our belief as to this we can with the least propriety be said to 
have embraced anything contrary to sound reason. Only let it be 
considered that the writers on whose testimony we rely were all 
of them men of gravity and worth, who could feel no inclination 
to deceive; that they were in part philosophers; that in point of 
residence and country they were far separated from each other; 
that their report is not grounded on mere hearsay, but upon what 
they state themselves to have witnessed with their own eyes; that 
they call on God in the most solemn manner to attest its truth 
(vid Origen contra Celsum, L. I, p. 35), and lastly that they do not 
pretend to have themselves possessed the power of working mira- 
cles, but merely attribute it to others; and let me ask what reason 
can there possibly be assigned that should induce us to withhold 
from them our implicit confidence." (Historical Commentaries, 
Century II, sect. 5, Note.) 

The extended note of Mosheim from which we 
make this extract is well worth the reader's exam- 
ination in full. It contains the strong avowal that 
the opinion above quoted of the continuance of mir- 
acles is the Catholic view; and it criticises at length 
the opposite theory as propounded by his contem- 
porary Middleton, which he says the author was 
compelled in a later work practically to retract. 


Note B. (P. 80.) 


Rev. Morgan Edwards, in "Materials towards a 
History of American Baptists," Vol. I, p. 23, 
speaking of Rev. Owen Thomas, once pastor at 
Welch Tract, Del., says: 

"Mr. Thomas left behind him the following remarkable note: 
'I have been called upon three times to anoint the sick with oil 
for recovery. The effect was surprising in every case; but in none 
more so than in that of our brother, Rynallt Howell. He was so 
sore with the bruises of the waggon when he was anointed that he 
could not bear to be turned in bed otherwise than with the sheet; 
the next day he was so well that he went to meeting. I have often 
wondered that this rite is so much neglected, as the precept is so 
plain and the effects have been so salutary.' " 

On page 28 of the same work Mr. Edwards 
says, referring to Rev. Hugh Davis, pastor of Great 
Valley church: 

"Some years before his death he had a severe pain in his arm, 
which gradually wasted the limb and made life a burden. After 
trying many remedies he sent for the elders of the church to anoint 
him with oil, according to James v 114- 17. The effect was a per- 
fect cure, so far that the pain never returned. One of the elders 
concerned (from whom I had this relation) is yet alive [1 770], and 
succeeds Mr. Hugh Davis in the ministry, viz. Rev. John Davis." 



He gives several other like incidents, and makes 
the following observation upon the custom: 

"The present generation of Baptists in Pennsylvania and the 
several other colonies (German Baptists excepted) have somehow 
reasoned themselves out of the practice of anointing the sick for 
recovery, not believing that the same kind of reasoning would lead 
them to discontinue every positive rite, as it actually led Barclay 
and thousands besides. Our pious forefathers in this province 
practiced the rite frequently and successfully, as might be shown. 
(See Examples, pp. 23, 28.) The same may be said of the Bap- 
tists of Great Britain and Ireland. Their progenitors also used 
the salutary unction, whereof some narrations have been made 


Note C. (P. 22.) 


SINCE the first edition of this work was pub- 
lished some of its critics have sharply arraigned 
it because of its failure to discredit the last part of 
Mark's Gospel, viz. , the sixteenth chapter, from 
verse 9th to the end. 

After an extended examination of the whole 
question, it seemed to the author that the doubts 
which have been thrown upon the passage have so 
rapidly diminished, and have now so nearly reached 
the vanishing point, that it was hardly worthwhile 
to disturb the reader's mind with them. It is a 
grave consideration as to how much of questioning 
in regard to such texts the preacher or the writei 
is justified in raising. It seems to us that unless 
the evidence against them considerably preponder- 
ates, it is best to say nothing about the uncertainty. 
In this case, we believe that the evidence in favor 
of the genuineness of the passage vastly outweighs 
that against it. We have not room to set forth 
the grounds of this conviction, but would refer the 
reader to Olshausen's very strong and to us very 
conclusive defence of this side of the question. 


The fact that so early a writer as Irenaeus quotes 
this passage as a part of Mark's Gospel, both Ols- 
hausen and Lange consider to be a powerful 
argument in its favor. When we consider that 
Irenaeus was only a step removed from the apos- 
tles, being a disciple of Polycarp who was the 
disciple of John, we shall see how important a 
consideration this is. The view of Olshausen that 
this part was accidentally torn off from some 
ancient manuscript, and the loss perpetuated by 
the transcribers, is far more reasonable, it seems 
to us. than that it was an addition by a later hand. 
For a full and satisfactory discussion of the whole 
question we would refer the reader to the fresh and 
able Commentary of Morrison. His conclusion in 
regard to the matter is as follows: Speaking of 
the view that this passage is spurious, he says: 
"This notion has grown into a romance of criticism 
which has thrown a spell of doubt over spirits that 
have not the least sympathy with Biblical skepti- 
cism. But we have shown in a full discussion of 
the subject in the body of the Commentary that 
the romance has culminated. There would appear 
to be no good reason for questioning the authority of 
the passage" — Introduction to Commentary on 


Note D. (P. 160.) 


We cannot too strongly commend the biography 
of this excellent man, from which we have made this 
brief extract. It is the most remarkable exempli- 
fication of the power of faith and of the possibili- 
ties of intercessory prayer which we have ever 
met. At the same time it is a life the farthest 
removed from anything of extravagance and high 
assumption. We give one or two further extracts 
from it for the benefit of such as may not be able 
to read the entire book. The first is a reference 
to the remarkable instance which we have cited: — 

"It was especially, " he writes, "in that awful case of sickness 
(page 160) that I discovered how the testamentary words of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, 'They shall lay hands on the sick, and they 
shall recover,' are not yet quite out of power, if applied with an 
humble, penitent, and believing heart. Everything concerning ill- 
nesses in my parish began to be changed. Seldom did a medical 
man appear in it; the people would rather pray. Certain diseases, 
especially among new-born children, seemed entirely to cease, and 
the general state of health became better than it was before." 

"Yet never in the least did Blumhardt urge the people to give 
up medical means; they did it all of their own accord. Nor did 
he consider his personal presence and mediation necessary. Hun- 



dreds and thousands that came, in course of time, from all parts 
of Europe — yea, from the remotest parts of the globe — or ap- 
plied to him, either through friends and relations or by letter, were 
directed by him to search themselves before the Almighty, to re- 
pent, to give themselves entirely up to God, with all their families, 
and He would then, in answer to a child-like petition as to their 
peculiar necessities, do according to His holy pleasure. But others 
without number came or were brought to M5ttlingen, especially on 
days of public worship; scores of them were accommodated inside 
the church, outside in the church-yard, or listened to the sermon 
from neighboring houses. From early in the morning till after the 
third service, in the evening, Blumhardt had scarcely a minute 
of rest. Hundreds came, one after another, desiring to lay their 
spiritual and bodily complaints in particular before him. " 

"I myself," continues Mr. Spittler, "was an eye-witness during 
eighteen months. Two years after the beginning of the revival, 
one Sunday morning, a friend and I counted more than a hun- 
dred towns and villages of Wflrtemburg and the Grand Duchy of 
Baden, from which either a few or whole bands of thirty or fifty 
had come to hear the Word of God, or to receive release from 
diseases. It would take me hours to testify what the Lord has, 
through a series of years, done for many a distressed family or 
individual, who, when all human means seemed to fail, looked up 
to God as a compassionate and merciful Father. God knows the 
cases, and those who are concerned know them, and will praise 
Him here on earth as long as their breath is within them. Blum- 
hardt's daily prayer and sigh before the Lord was, 'Oh, that all 
people would learn again to pray and bring all their matters before 
their Heavenly Father!' " — pp. 30-32. 

Pastor Blumhardt did not like to dilate on these answers to 
prayer. Still they were known. He held that the signs men- 



tioned by our risen Saviour (Mark xvi, 18) embraced a promise 
for all times, and that if the signs were now lacking it was 
through a want of faith in the Church. He took the Lord at 
his word. Many a captive who had been enthralled bodily and 
mentally by Satan went away from Bad Boll rejoicing in a liberty 
wherewith Christ had, in both respects, made him free. Often, as 
Jiose who had left wrote to tell of their healing, and of the change 
that had passed over their life, Blumhardt would say with energy, 
"Thank God, the God of our fathers still lives." 

An esteemed professor of the school of medicine at the Univer- 
sity of Tiibingen, resolved, during one of his vacations, to go and 
make personal inquiries about these cases of healing. Curiosity 
mainly moved him. He asked the pastor to give him some proofs 
of the reality of these cures. Blumhardt said, "Give yourself time, 
and take out of these drawers of my writing-table the letters I have 
received. Take out as many as you please. Examine the testi- 
mony of others as to the answers to prayer for healing. I know of 
no other proof I can give." We give the words of an intelligent 
visitor at Bad Boll: "This professor has often since related to me 
that Blumhardt (not at all wishing to bias his judgment) left him 
alone to peruse the letters. He confessed that during the reading 
of these letters, some of which he thought to be 'most remarkable,' 
his astonishment grew more and more, and it became difficult to 
slim to continue to doubt, as he had done, the reality of these 
things, and still more difficult knowing the man whose communi- 
cation made the deepest impression upon him to be a thoroughly 
open and honorable character, and least likely to lend himself to 
anything approaching a selfish fraud." — pp. 59-61. 

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